The delivery of the 747-8 Intercontinental – Boeing’s largest and most recognizable commercial airplane – caps a development delay of more than a year.
Boeing marked the milestone with an understated ceremony, keeping the media at arm’s length to safeguard the identity of its customer, thought by industry insiders to be the state of Qatar.
Boeing Business Jets president Steve Taylor, who was set to fly the airplane from Paine Field near Seattle, said it will spend about six months at Boeing’s Wichita facility which is the plant that modified Air Force One. From there it goes to a facility in Hamburg where it will spend two years receiving customer-specific outfitting like bedrooms, dining rooms and galleys, he said.
Taylor said the unnamed customer wants the new Intercontinental to be the “jewel of the sky.”