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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Ready to go

Nose up

Takeoff

Under the nose

747-8 Intercontinental

Above the left wing

Cockpit

Cockpit controls close-up

The whole cockpit

First class bed

Front of first class

First class barrier up

Barrier down

Business class main cabin

Business class upper deck

Overhead compartment

Business class bed flat

Business class seats

Crew rest quarters

Economy class front

Back of seats

Stairway down

Stairway up

Window going dark

Shade coming down

Red carpet

Going to see the plane

Landing gears

Nico photos engine

Rear engine

Right wing engines

Right wingtip

Spohr and Lufthansa crew

The key

Taxiing out

EVERETT, Wash.--It was years in the making, but today, Boeing and Lufthansa held a delivery event that changes aviation forever. The event marked the delivery of the first 747-8 Intercontinental into an airline's hands. And that means that within a month, the first paying passengers will be climbing aboard this giant new airplane. Lufthansa plans to integrate this plane into its long-haul routes on June 1, and has already contracted for a total of 20 of the new planes.

Seen here, the plane is about to takeoff for its flight to Germany, where Lufthansa will do final preparations for its inaugural commercial flight next month.

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The next-generation 747, the 747-8 Intercontinental, is nose up.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The plane lifts off on its way to Frankfurt. Boeing first unveiled the 747-8 Intercontinental on February 13, 2011, but it hadn't handed one of the planes over to an airline customer until today.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look up at the nose of Lufthansa's first 747-8 Intercontinental. The plane is said to offer significant improvements for carriers in terms of fuel efficiency and noise. Boeing has 120 orders for the new plane.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Lufthansa's first 747-8 Intercontinental, seen on the tarmac outside Boeing's Future of Flight facility.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look down at the plane's left wing, featuring two of its four General Electric GEnx 2B engines, as well as its curved wing that helps with its overall fuel efficiency.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look at the plane's cockpit.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A close-up look at the controls of a 747-8 Intercontinental.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The cockpit of the 747-8 Intercontinental, like some other long-haul planes, has four seats, allowing a crew of three and one observer.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Lufthansa is starting an overhaul of the configuration of its long-haul planes. The new 747, and some of its other planes, including the A380, will have just eight first class seats, and a much greater emphasis on business class.

This is one of the first class seats folded flat and set up as a full bed.

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
On the new 747-8 Intercontinental, first class is located in the nose of the airplane. Business class is located both behind first class, and in the plane's extended upper deck.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Two side-by-side first class seats can have a barrier up between them, or can have the barrier down if two people are traveling together.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Here, we see the barrier down between two first-class seats.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
This is a look through the main cabin business class section. On this 747-8 Intercontinental, there are 92 business class seats, as well as eight first class and 258 economy seats.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look at the upper deck business class section.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The new 747-8 Intercontinental is said to feature larger overhead bins than most of today's planes.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look at a business class seat aboard Lufthansa's first 747-8 Intercontinental set up as a fully-flat bed.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look at two business class seats, as configured for daytime flight.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The 747-8 Intercontinental features a crew rest cabin behind a locked door in the upper deck of the plane.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look back at the main economy class cabin aboard Lufthansa's first 747-8 Intercontinental.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look at the back of the economy class seats, each of which has its own video screen.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look down the stairway from the upper deck aboard the 747-8 Intercontinental.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look up the same stairway from the main deck.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
One amenity of the new 747-8 Intercontinental is windows that can be instantly changed from fully open to brightly shaded or to fully dark. Here, we see the shade transitioning from shaded to dark.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Here, we see the shade dropping down, covering the open window.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
At Boeing and Lufthansa's event today, visitors were greeted with a red carpet as crews prepared the plane for its first flight to Frankfurt.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
After a signing ceremony featuring executives from Boeing and Lufthansa, everyone was invited to see the airplane.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look at the giant's airplanes main set of landing gears.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Lufthansa executive vice president of group fleet management Nico Buchholz photographs his new airplane's engine.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
A look at the rear of one of the plane's four GEnx 2B engines.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Here we see two of the plane's four GEnx 2B engines, in this case on the right wing.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The new 747's aerodynamic wing design features this curved wingtip, helping to offer the plane, and its owners, greater fuel efficiency than most long-haul airplanes.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
At the ceremony, Lufthansa executives and flight crew members pose for photographs in front of their new airplane.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Senior vice president and general manager of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Pat Shanahan shows off the ceremonial key for the new 747-8 Intercontinental as he prepares to hand it over to Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa Passenger Airlines.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Lufthansa's new 747 taxis out from the Future of Flight tarmac in preparation for takeoff.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
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