Take-off

EVERETT, Wash.--Sunday marked the first flight of Boeing's all-new 747-8 Intercontinental. Billed as the aviation giant's biggest-ever passenger plane, as well as its most fuel- and cost-efficient, the plane will be the only one in the 400- to 500-passenger market.

Boeing unveiled the plane at a giant ceremony at its plant here last month, and on Sunday, the plane took off for its first flight.

It is expected to land at Seattle's Boeing Field after at least a couple of hours aloft.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Burning protectant

As the plane gets ready to taxi onto the runway, it revved its engines, which created smoke from the burning off of protectant lubricant.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Moving after burnoff

The plane begins to move after sitting on the tarmac and revving its engines for a few minutes.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

The plane

A look at the all-new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Front of plane

The front of the 747-8 Intercontinental, as seen from the left side.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Tail with cone

Hanging from the tail of the plane is a trailing cone, which, when it is in the air, can go out to between 150 and 200 feet behind the plane. The cone is meant to measure the difference between total pressure and static pressure in order to figure out altitude and total airspeed.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

From the left side

Another view of the plane, from the left side.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Engines

Two of the 747-8 Intercontinental's four GEnx 2B engines, which are said to be 16 percent more fuel efficient, per seat, than those on the current-gen 747-400.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

In the sun

The plane catches the morning sun.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Turning onto runway

The 747-8 Intercontinental turns onto the runway.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Heading away

As it heads toward its take-off position, the plane heads away and is seen from behind.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

From behind

The plane, as seen from behind.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

T-33s overhead

Two T-33 chase planes fly overhead.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Turning into position

The 747-8 Intercontinental turns into position for its first-ever takeoff.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Ready to go

The plane is ready for take-off.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Rolling

Engines fully revved, the plane begins to roll.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Nose up

The 747-8 Intercontinental's nose edges into the air, just prior to taking off.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Flying with chase planes

The plane is seen with one of its two T-33 chase planes, seconds after liftoff.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Into the air

The plane heads into the morning sky. It is expected to land about 30 minutes south, at Seattle's Boeing Field, in a couple of hours.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Banking left

Now quite far from Paine Field, the plane banks to the left.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Big crowd

A large crowd of Boeing employees waits on the field for the plane's first flight.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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