The sky is the limit when designing your own 747-8I. Design by Toby Rao, Image from Boeing.
When going to buy a Boeing 747-8 Intercontiental, one of the most difficult decisions is choosing the outside design. Well, have no fear, help is here (and also a huge time waster). Boeing now offers AvGeeks the ability to design your own 7478I livery.
Even when you get bored making your own liveries, be sure to check out the few hundred that have already been made. Some are actually really good and others are, well… have opportunity for improvement (any of the ones we tried surely have TONS of room for improvement, so we are not ones to judge).
Interestingly enough, if you look at the first design in the gallery, it is an Air China 747-8I. The airline has five on order, which none have been delivered quite yet. Maybe this provides a nice preview for the airline?
Previously, users were also able to design their own Boeing 787 Dreamliner livery, but it looks like that page has been replaced with making the Intercontinetal. Good luck and have fun! If you can, be sure to share your results.
GE-90 engine as seen on the current Boeing 777-300ER. Photo by Brandon Farris.
Last week, the Boeing 777X took a major step towards becoming a reality as Boeing and General Electric (GE) made an announcement that they would be working together in studies about the new aircraft.
At this point, GE is expected to be the only provider of an engine for the 777X, just as they are currently with the 777-300ER and 200LR variants.
“This decision to work with GE going forward reflects the best match to the development program, schedule and airplane performance,” said Bob Feldmann, vice president and general manager, 777X Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are studying airplane improvements that will extend today’s 777 efficiencies and reliability for the next two decades or longer, and the engines are a significant part of that effort. Our focus is on providing the most competitive offering to our customers in the large twin aisle market.”
The 777 is an ultra-long haul aircraft for Boeing that many have deemed killed the future need for the 747-8I and eliminated the Airbus A340 program. The 777 is able to hold about as many passengers as the 747-8 and A340, but is able to efficiently operate on only two engines cutting down weight and cost.
Emirates Airline Boeing 777-200LR with GE-90 engines. Photo by Brandon Farris.
The development work on the next-generation 777 continues and includes airline customers from around the world. “We have had strong and productive engagement with a broad set of customers in the marketplace to understand their future needs. We are pleased with where we are in the process,” Feldmann said. “We are aggressively moving forward on our plan and will continue to refine requirements with customers.”
The next steps for the 777X is get a final nod of go ahead from the Boeing Board of Directors and probably the easiest step in finding a launch customer. Rumor has it that Emirates will likely be that since they fly over 10% of all 777’s made to date and are the largest customer of the aircraft, but Lufthansa is also another potential.
With the difficulties of the totally re-vamped 787 Dreamliner program, it is more likely that the 777X will be more of an evolution, like the 737MAX is to the 737NG.
||This story written by…Brandon Farris, Correspondent. Brandon is an avid aviation geek based in Seattle. He got started in Photography and Reporting back in 2010. He loves to travel where ever he has to to cover the story and try to get the best darn shot possible.
@BrandonsBlog | RightStuffPhotography | Flickr
A Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on the factory floor in Everett.
I love a good mystery. Today Boeing sent out a media advisory saying that tomorrow there will be an event in New York City to, “announce a significant airplane purchase agreement.” Now, what could this be?
The release does not say much, but gives away two interesting details. First, it will be held at a very nice hotel. I don’t want to name the exact hotel, but if I were to try and get a room there tomorrow, the cheapest is over $600.00 and the Penthouse is about $10,000. Not your Motel 6.
Also Ray Conner, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes will be at the announcement as well. He doesn’t really show up to many order announcements, so this is something special.
So who will be the airline and what aircraft will they be ordering? Some of my thoughts:
- The venue is nice. I think this eliminates most low cost carriers, at least those in the US. Actually, I would be surprised if this was a US carrier at all. The only US carrier, who would be making a Boeing purchase and announcing in NYC I could see is Delta. But my bet is a foreign carrier.
- My guess is the order will be significant. Either with the number of planes or aircraft type. There have been some pretty large numbers of 737 orders already and it would probably need to be significant for this sort of announcement.
- Honestly, I hope that it is an order for the 747-8 Intercontinental — especially from a US carrier. There haven’t been very many and additional orders would call for celebration.
- I wouldn’t see this being an order for the 787 Dreamliner. It is still a sore topic and not currently flying.
- I think the Boeing 737 MAX is a great airplane, but no offense, the order announcements are not as exciting anymore. I am kind of hoping for a different aircraft type.
- A MAX order from JetBlue (who is based in NYC) would excite me, but I do not see that happening.
- Could this be a combo? Boeing could officially announce the 777X and the first airline to order it? It seems a bit early, but it would take some attention away from the 787 and help to move Boeing forward.
Stay tuned. @AirlineFlyer will be reporting for @AirlineReporter in New York City tomorrow and follow both Twitter accounts for the announcement. The event is set to start at 10:15am EST. Until then…
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Who do you think the airline will be? What aircraft will they order? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Update: Reuters is reporting that they are hearing Ryanair will announce an order for 150 Boeing 737 NG’s tomorrow. Sure, great for Boeing to keep their 737NG (which is still a great plane) line going. Also would be good for Ryanair to finally be able to add more aircraft and routes, but I hope that this is not the announcement. Just not very exciting or sexy — give me some wide bodies here.
Also, the location of a posh hotel does not make sense for Ryanair, since they want to be seen as an ultra low-cost carrier. The biggest question for me is: Why New York City? Now, if they are announcing the 737 order and plans to fly to NYC, then I am interested for sure.
I am going to say that I do not think Ryanair will be involved with tomorrow’s announcement.
Update2: And I was wrong (hey it happens). A bit after 2am PST, Boeing sent out a press release giving a large preview of their announcement.
Captain Steve Taylor at the controls of a 747-8I before flight. Image from Boeing.
I first met Steve Taylor, the President of Boeing Business Jets, during the press conference for the delivery of the first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. He had to leave half way thought the Q&A, which would be rude for most airline executives, but he had a good reason: he had to fly the plane. Then more recently I was able to chat with him another event and enjoyed our conversation so much that I asked for a follow up interview for the blog and here is that interview:
David Parker Brown (DPB): Who is Steve Taylor?
Steve Taylor (ST): I’m basically a very lucky kid from Kansas who’s landed in a job that allows me lead a great team, selling and supporting a great product while still engaging my passion for flying airplanes. I’m second generation Boeing – my father having been an engineer, test pilot and an executive during his 50 years here and my career has (in many ways) followed along in his footsteps. Like him, I have a background in engineering and flight test and also like him; I continue to fly small airplanes very regularly.
DPB: What aircraft are you currently rated to fly?
ST: I fly small airplanes for fun and fly big airplanes at work whenever the opportunity arises. I’m rated for single and multi-engine land airplanes; single engine seaplanes; Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, 777 and 787 as well as Bombardier Challenger 604 and Dassault Falcon 10. I maintain my currency on the Boeing airplanes as well as several light airplanes and I use my FAA Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics license to work on those light airplanes as well.
DPB: Which aircraft do you enjoy flying the most?
ST: There’s a saying among pilots that our favorite airplane is always the one that we are currently flying and I must say that there’s a lot of truth in the comment. With that said, the 787 is the nicest handling airplane I’ve ever flown and it is a real joy to fly. The 747-8 is very special to fly because it is so majestic and the 737 is the most comfortable for me personally because I’ve flown it so much. Nonetheless, I’m happy to fly any airplane, any time.
DPB: Where do you sleep during long flights where no seats/crew rests are installed?
ST: Thankfully, all of the seats and accommodations on the flight deck are installed here at Boeing before delivery. In the case of the 747-8, that includes four seats and two crew bunks in the flight deck, so we have all the same amenities available that airline flight crews typically enjoy with the notable exception of a galley, so we have to be a little bit clever with our catering. It is perhaps a bit ironic that when we deliver what will be one of the most luxurious aircraft in the air, we’re frequently carrying a thermos for our coffee and box lunches for our meals. The configuration of the green airplane with no passenger seats does lead to some interesting conversations when you think about a “Boeing four-seater”, but all of us want to be on the flight deck anyway, so we find ways to make it work.
DPB: Are the bathrooms already installed?
ST: Yes, all of our “green” airplanes include at least one lavatory. In the case of the 747-8, there’s even a lavatory forward of the flight deck security door which is a feature that has been a big plus for our airline customers.
DPB: Who are the type of customers that order a BBJ?
ST: There are really quite a variety of BBJ customers, but they primarily fall into three camps: Corporations, Wealthy Individuals and Heads of State. Our corporate customers are mostly very large, multi-national corporations who see the benefits of our airplanes for transporting teams around the globe. With the high-speed data systems that are now typical on all BBJ’s, our customers can make productive use of the time aboard our airplanes. When combined with the amenities and comfort available, they can do more business in more places more quickly.
Our wealthy individual customers share a similar need for productivity – they tend to be very entrepreneurial individuals whose time is incredibly valuable.
The Head of State clients are as varied as the nations they lead, but they share a need to transport large teams reliably, safely and securely. Most of those airplanes have a configuration that addresses the broad needs of a Head of State, so they typically have seating for security teams and other support people.
We also have a few customers who operate their BBJ’s on Charter certificates providing “on-demand” type of service. Those airplanes are typically configured to support the sort of clients most prevalent in their regions. For example, the Middle East charter airplanes are typically configured to support Head of State type clients
This is a Boeing Business Jet. I want one.
DPB: Besides the 737 VIP, which is the most popular BBJ?
ST: The 737 based BBJ is obviously the product that brought Boeing into the business jet market and since we started this venture 16+ years ago, we’ve sold 156 of them. In addition to those, Boeing has sold a dozen 787’s, nine 747-8’s, eight 767’s, five 777’s, five 757’s and a handful of 747-400s and “non-BBJ” 737’s to VIP customers.
DPB: Any news on the 748I becoming the new Air Force One?
ST: Boeing is in ongoing discussions as to what the customer requirements are and how best we can meet them, but nothing other than that to report.
DPB: How does one go about ordering a BBJ?
ST: We have a team of BBJ Sales Directors who work directly with our clients. Each client has unique requirements, so each campaign is different, depending on the client’s requirements.
DPB: Are there customers for 787 test aircraft ZA004, ZA005 and ZA006? When will the first 787 VIP deliver?
ST: Yes, there’s a lot of interest in the market for those airplanes. We’ve already sold ZA006 to an undisclosed customer and we are working several prospects for the remaining two. The first BBJ 787 is scheduled for delivery at the end of this year and there are several BBJ 787 deliveries in 2014, so we are very busy now working with our partners in the Completion business to ensure that we have provided them with the engineering data to support the VIP conversions.
||This story written by…David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder.
David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.
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Imagine back to 2003 when the preparations for the Summer Olympics in Athens were underway. It was time that the Bush Campaign was back in full swing, the Concorde made its last revenue flight and it was also the same year that the Qatar government was developing the master plan for their new airport: Doha International Airport (DOH). The airport has come a long way since then and is close to being fully complete.
Currently Doha Airport has no jet bridges and every single guest, no matter the class of ticket held, is bused to the gate. This isn’t the most efficient and means long minimum connect times, but it is only temporary.
The Outside of the New Doha International Airport – Photo: Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com
The airport was scheduled to be fully operational later in 2013, but there have been construction delays and the official opening has been pushed back.
At present the terminal is approximately 97% complete, the runways are ready for use and most of the major infrastructure is complete. I had the opportunity to tour the facility and if you just cleaned the dust away, you would have an almost fully operating airport — you just wouldn’t be able to shop or eat just yet.
Going on a tour of the New Doha International Airport at the moment means dressing like a construction worker – Photo: Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com
The airport is built to accommodate 24 million passengers a year. The airport has 17 million meters (roughly 10,000 miles) of electrical cabling, 9000 phones, 3800 parking spots, two runways (which will allow 100 aircraft movements an hour), a cargo facility (able to handle 1.4 million tons of cargo annually) and a catering facility capable of preparing 90,000 meals per day. This is a huge investment for a relatively small nation in the Middle East.
With design elements taken from two world leading airports (Singapore Changi and Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok), DOH will be an amazing new facility that will allow the passengers to have a world leading experience. Inside the terminal will be 25,000 square meters of retail, food and beverage space allowing travelers to get their shopping fix or grab a meal at a number of outlets between connections.
You should have ample time to go shopping at DOH. The new airport is designed to allow a 30 minute connection between flights; including the time required to disembark and re-board your next flight. This is a staggering figure and one that is going to be a true test. To compare, most professionals suggest you have almost four hours to connect between flights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
What Airport in the Middle East would not be complete without a Mosque and this one a Fine Example – Photo: Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com
Qatar is a Muslim country, where a high majority of its travelers and workers are of Muslim faith. This means that you would need some form of prayer facilities for them as the call to prayer happens five times a day (and is a good sign when you can hear it, that you know you’re in the middle east). Right outside the main entrance to the airport facility is one of the most staggeringly beautiful Mosques I have seen.
The airport also offers a new cargo terminal and a new maintenance facility for Qatar Airways. This impressively large building was essentially raised in one piece from the ground up and is so large that it can accommodate eight wide bodied aircraft at any one time.
The Amiri Terminal at the New Doha International Airport – Photo: Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com
What would Qatar’s new airport be without somewhere for the Amir of Qatar to spend some time? He has to hop on board his “unconfirmed” 747-8I at some point right? So the airport design also includes a new Amiri Terminal. Again another stunningly beautiful facility, surrounded by water and palm trees.
There are many other VIPs who are expected to visit the airport and many of them have come to expect red carpet treatment. Obviously it would take quite a bit of work to roll out a red carpet upon each arrival and departure, so the designers came up with a novel idea. They created an air bridge that allows anyone to step off their aircraft onto a red carpet and right into a greeting ceremony.
No matter the height of the aircraft, it can be accommodated (although after clarification, they weren’t sure if it was A380 capable, but it is definitely 747 capable). Not even a single step is required. Although it doesn’t look as cool, stepping off waving to the crowd then coming down your steps to the awaiting band, and yes there is a band stand there as well.
All of this high level of service is just the beginning. The airport has already been signed to expand further, adding more terminals, railway stations, metro links, and more facilities. DOH is expected to double in capacity in time for the 2022 Soccer World Cup to be held in Qatar. Given all of this, this will truly be a fantastic new airport.
Disclaimer: Qatar Airways paid for the trip to Qatar, all opinions are my own.
||This story written by…Malcolm Muir, Lead Correspondent. Mal is an Australian Avgeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.
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