747-8 Intercontinental

Boeing 747-8, Dreamliner get prepped for cell phone use

Passengers aboard Boeing's flagship 747-8 Intercontinental, as well as its 787 Dreamliners and 777s will have the capability to make cell phone calls as soon as 2013, the aviation giant said today.

As part of the company's move to boost connectivity on the most modern planes in its fleet, it plans to outfit them so that they can support cell phone usage, as well as Wi-Fi, live television, and "Internet access using in-flight entertainment."

Boeing said its planes should also support wireless streaming media by 2014.

Of course, whether airlines actually allow passengers to use cell … Read more

At long last, Boeing delivers the first next-gen 747

EVERETT, Wash.--Get ready, aviation fans. Seats aboard Boeing's new 747-8 Intercontinental are almost ready for you. And today, at an event here, Boeing finally handed over the keys to the first of the next-general planes to a commercial airline customer.

The new airplane, which Boeing first unveiled at a huge ceremony here a year ago, has been in testing since then. But today, Lufthansa became the first airline to officially own one of the aircraft, the first of 20 it has ordered, and of 130 total orders Boeing has received for it. … Read more

Buying a 747 or 787 Dreamliner? You'll get it here

When your products cost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, you probably want to give your customers the best possible buying experience.

Since the 1960s, airlines and others buying a brand-new Boeing airplane have picked up the 747, 757, 787 Dreamliner, and other models from the aviation giant's 60,000-square-foot Everett Delivery Center. But now, Boeing is building an all-new version of the facility (see video above), an 180,000-square-foot cathedral for picking up new airplanes that is expected to open some time next year.

When Boeing finishes building one of its well-known planes, it is towed to … Read more

Secret VIP gets first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental

Fans of the 747, rejoice! Boeing's flagship jumbo jet is one step closer to flying paying passengers.

Today at its huge Everett, Wash., assembly plant, the aviation giant handed over the very first 747-8 Intercontinental, the next generation of perhaps the most famous airplane in history.

At an event at the plant, about 45 minutes north of Seattle, Boeing delivered the first new 747, a special "VIP" version that will be modified to carry 100 passengers in what has to be assumed is very luxurious style, to "an undisclosed customer." This first plane will be … Read more

Culture: Five predictions for 2012

Here at Geek Gestalt, every day is different. The world of geek culture is broad--sometimes bewilderingly so. A typical year's coverage can easily include stories on everything from Burning Man to Lego, aviation to 3D printing, NASA to tech startups, MythBusters to Pixar movies, and so on.

That makes coming up with predictions for next year in culture a difficult task--but we're here to serve, so that's just we're offering. Of course, trying to settle on just five ideas for 2012 means leaving a lot of things out.

Still, prognosticating culture's next steps meant talking … Read more

With FAA's blessing, Boeing's next-gen 747 nears delivery

Boeing said today that it has received FAA certification for its flagship 747-8 Intercontinental, putting the plane on course for first delivery to its launch partner Lufthansa "early next year."

The company said the certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration "validates that the design of the 747-8 Intercontinental is compliant with all aviation regulatory requirements and the production system can produce a safe and reliable airplane, conforming to the airplane's design."

The aviation giant first unveiled the Intercontinental last February, and the plane made its first flight last March 20.

The new 747 … Read more

Boeing's 747-8 Freighter receives flight certification

Just two days after it completed flight testing for the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing has received flight certification from the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency for its new 747-8 Freighter aircraft. The announcement, which came today, means Boeing can deliver the first airplane to launch-customer Cargolux early next month for revenue flights.

Also called the 747-8F, the aircraft is the latest generation of Boeing's iconic 747 family, which has been in production under various forms since 1969. Powered by General Electric GEnx-2B engines, the 747-8F is 16 percent longer than its most immediate predecessor, the 747-400, … Read more

In Paris, the 747-8 Intercontinental paints the town orange

PARIS--As he neared the end of the nearly 10-hour flight from Everett, Wash., to the French capital and the Paris Air Show here, Boeing chief pilot Mark Feuerstein got some unexpected gratification.

"It was a real quiet flight over," Feuerstein said of the trip that began just an hour north of Seattle, where Boeing builds many of its biggest passenger planes. "But as we approached Paris, it became a big deal. People knew who we were, on the radio. It was exciting. A lot of the pilots in the area saw us and were commenting, asking, 'Is … Read more

Boeing's 747-8 touches down for the first time

SEATTLE--With the beautiful snow-covered mountains of Washington state behind it, Boeing's 747-8 Intercontinental made its first-ever landing today, four-and-a-half hours after taking off on its maiden flight.

The flight went about as well as could be expected, 747 chief pilot Mark Feuerstein said in a brief press conference at Boeing Field here, minutes after the plane touched down at 2:25 p.m. PT.

The plane, with its unique red, orange, and white livery, took off at 9:58 a.m. PT from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., and headed immediately toward the Olympic Peninsula, Feuerstein told the crowd … Read more

787 Dreamliner touch-and-go's thrill 747-8 crowd

EVERETT, Wash.--For an airplane plane geek like me, today was a very good day.

Ostensibly, I was up here in this town about 30 minutes north of Seattle for the maiden flight of Boeing's all-new 747-8 Intercontinental, which took air for the first time at 9:58 a.m. PDT.

But while dozens of other reporters and I were waiting for the new 747 to take off, we got the chance to see something else that got the shutters working overtime: a 787 Dreamliner doing touch-and-go tests.

By now, the Dreamliner is, if not old news, then at … Read more