The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental has successfully completed its high-speed taxi tests. This is the last in a series of functional tests planned in preparation for first flight.
During the testing, the airplane reached a top speed of approximately 90 knots (103 mph, 167 kph), and the pilots lifted the nose gear from the pavement.
The 747-8 Intercontinental is the only jetliner in the 400- to 500-seat market, stretched 5.6 m (18.3 ft) from the 747-400 to provide 467 seats in a three-class configuration and a 14,815-km (8,000-nmi) range. Using 787-technology engines, the airplane will be quieter, produce lower emissions, and achieve better fuel economy than any competing jetliner. The 747 Intercontinental will provide nearly equivalent trip costs and 13 percent lower seat-mile costs than the 747-400, plus 26 percent greater cargo volume. Operating economics will offer a significant improvement over the A380. The 747-8 is more than 10 percent lighter per seat than the A380 and will consume 11 percent less fuel per passenger than the 555-seat airplane. That translates into a trip-cost reduction of 21 percent and a seat-mile cost reduction of more than 6 percent, compared to the A380. Both the 747-8 Intercontinental and 747-8 Freighter can use the existing infrastructure and ground equipment at most airports worldwide.