Inaugural flight of Boeing 747-8 jumbo jet lands at Dulles

The Boeing 747-8. Photo: Boeing

Lufthansa lifted off from Frankfurt, Germany today bound for Dulles Airport in a brand new aircraft, Boeing's new 747-8.

Despite its size, the plane was graceful on touch down at Dulles, ending its inaugural flight.

On board the Lufthansa jetliner were more than 300 people, including Joe Corrigan, who spent $3,000 flying from Australia to Germany to be part of aviation history.

"It was something I couldn't turn down, to be privileged enough to be on the first flight," he says.

The new 747 is a jazzed up version of Boeing's iconic jumbo jet that also had its inaugural flight at Dulles 42 years ago.

It's 30 percent quieter than the previous 747, and the engines burn 15 percent less fuel.

That reduced engine noise was noticeable by Tom Ritter of Baltimore.

"We were right behind the engine and it's noticeably quieter," Ritter says.

And the interior is certainly flashier than most planes. Business class seats occupy the biggest parts of the plane. Window shades slide down with the touch of a button, and the video monitors also slide in different directions.

Lufthansa has ordered 20 of the new planes. So, while this was the first flight, there'll be many more chances for passengers to experience this sort of luxury.