Most of the buzz about big new commercial aircraft in recent years has been generated by the double-decker Airbus A380, the world's largest, or the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, almost as famous for its production delays as its environmental and passenger-friendly credentials.

But amid this hype, Boeing has been quietly working to reinvent the venerable 747 with a new model dubbed the 747-800. It recently made its first test flight, and the slogan from Seattle is "Incredible, again."

About 19 feet longer than previous versions, with new wings and new engines, the 747-800 is rated to carry nearly 150 tons of cargo or to transport 467 passengers in a three-class configuration up to 9,200 statute miles.

Boeing says that since the first widebody entered service in 1970, it has delivered 1,238 747s, and about 1,100 of them are still flying.
Take a bow, Boeing.
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