Road Trip 2011: At the Paris Air Show, CNET got a look inside the next-generation of Boeing's flagship jumbo jet.
747-8 Intercontinental International debut
PARIS--The newest version of Boeing's flagship jumbo jet, the 747, made its international debut on Monday. Dubbed the 747-8 Intercontinental, the plane is more fuel efficient than any other passenger plane in the world and has an all-new aerodynamic wing design, as well as four GEnx-2B67 engines that produce 66,500 pounds of thrust.
In this gallery, CNET brings you a rare look at the interior of the new plane. It's certainly not ready for prime time, or even airline customers, but it sure is interesting to look at.
Here, we see the 747-8 I, as it's called, sitting on the tarmac at Le Bourget, home to the Paris Air Show.
This is the flight deck of the 747-8 I. While there are a few tweaks to the existing 747-400 cockpit design, Boeing decided to leave things very much as they have been so that airlines don't need to fully retrain their pilots to fly the new plane. Instead, they need just three days of instruction to get ready to pilot the Intercontinental.
The upper deck of the 747-8 Intercontinental is as long as an entire 737-700, Boeing says. Here, we see the upper deck on the first 747-8 I as it looks at the Paris Air Show--without seats, but with its luggage bins and lighting installed.
On this 747-8 I, the full interior fixtures have not yet been installed, and visitors can see the ceiling of the plane above the luggage bins. This plane will eventually be fully outfitted as a VIP plane by Boeing Business Jets.
One of the chief advantages of the 747-8 I, according to Boeing chief pilot Mark Feuerstein, is that there is a bathroom and rest quarters behind the flight deck door. This means that pilots will not need to open the door to the cockpit in order to go to the rest room, something that should increase security and allow pilots to not have to wait until service is finished before getting up.
The 747-8 Intercontinental that flew to the Paris Air Show is the first of the new line and hasn't yet been outfitted with normal seats. In fact, it is still full of testing equipment and water tanks used to distribute weight.