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Boeing's next-gen 747-8 Intercontinental unveiled (photos)

The aircraft retains its iconic shape, but gets a makeover for the 21st century. CNET's Daniel Terdiman brings you the view from Everett, Wash.

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Daniel Terdiman
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Full body

EVERETT, Wash.--Boeing formally unveiled its 747-8 Intercontinental at a ceremony at its giant assembly plant here Sunday. The new plane features a new color scheme for Boeing: red, orange, and white.

The plane is said to fly longer and faster, and to offer carriers better cost per seat mile and better fuel efficiency than any other plane.

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Under the nose

A look up at the plane's nose.
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747-8

This says it all for Boeing: "747-8," emblazoned on the left side of the new plane.
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Intercontinental

The 747-8 freighter made its first flight a year ago. Now the Intercontinental takes the spotlight for the 747-8 program.
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Famous silhouette

Other than a Coke bottle, there may be no more famous silhouette in the history of business than that of the 747. While the Intercontinental features all-new systems, it retains that iconic look.
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Engines

A look at two of the plane's four General Electric GEnx-2B engines.
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Under the left wing

A look at the plane from underneath its left wing.
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Body from right side

A look at the plane from the right side.
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Tail

A look at the plane's 63-foot-high tail, emblazoned with its all-new color scheme.
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Touching the engine

Many of the thousands of people on hand at the event on Sunday were employees and family, and many of them wanted to touch the new airplane.
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Left wing tip

A look at the wing tip of the new airplane.
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Behind the tail

A look up at the rear of the plane from behind its 63-foot-high tail.
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Front of the plane

A look at the front of the Intercontinental from the left side.
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N6067E

The tag may go down in aviation history: N6067E, the tail number of the first 747-8 Intercontinental.
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Full body

Thousands of people turned out to see the all-new airplane.
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Under the tail

A look straight up at the tail from underneath the plane.
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Right side tail

A look at the plane's tail from the right side.
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Landing gear

A look at the plane's landing gear. All told, the plane has 18 wheels.
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747s on screen

In the video booth for the event, a screen shows several different camera views of the plane.
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Front nose

A view of the plane from just in front and to the left.
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Behind the engine

A look at one of the GEnx-2B engines from behind.
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Reflection

Some of the thousands of people on hand for the event today are reflected in the shiny paint of the plane's underside.
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Father of the 747

Joe Sutter, the "father of the 747," was an honored guest at the Sunday event. Here, Sutter (on the right) looks at the new airplane.
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Shadow

The shadow of the new plane is seen on the hangar-bay door of the Everett assembly plant.
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Right back

A look at the right back side of the plane.
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Body low angle

A low angle shot of the plane's front left side.
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Posing with landing gear

The son of a Boeing employee poses for a picture in front of one of the plane's landing gear.
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Landing gear

A straight on look at one of the plane's landing gear.
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Thousands of people

Thousands of people are seen admiring the new airplane at the Sunday event at Boeing's Everett assembly plant.
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left rear

The left rear side of the plane.
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Underneath from left

A look up at the plane from underneath its left front side.
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Lufthansa model

This is a scale model of the Intercontinental featuring the livery of Lufthansa, the launch customer for the plane.
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Korean Air

This is a scale model of the Intercontinental featuring the livery of Korean Air, one of two carriers to preorder the plane.
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BBJ

This is a scale model of the Intercontinental featuring the livery of Boeing Business Jets, which ordered several of the planes for private buyers.

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