Boeing [NYSE: BA] reached a new milestone as it celebrated the first flight of the new 747-400ER (extended range) airplane. It begins its flight test program in August from Paine Field. The airplane is the 1,308th 747 assembled by Boeing in its Everett factory, making it by far the world's most popular widebody jetliner.
"In our business, whether you design, build, fly or maintain airplanes, there's nothing more special than a first flight," said Boeing 747-400ER program manager Kurt Kraft after watching the airplane take off. "It has been a tremendous experience working together with customers, suppliers and regulatory agencies to take the next logical step in this great airplane's evolution."