Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 128,383
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,049,984





Aviation Week: Inside Pratt’s New Flying Testbed

Can you spot what is different about this Boeing 747-100? If you guessed the engine attached to the upper deck -- you win. Pratt & Whitney is testing the PW1200G engine. Photo by Guy Norris.

Can you spot what is different about this Boeing 747SP (C-GTFF)? If you guessed the engine attached to the upper deck -- you win. Pratt & Whitney is testing the PW1200G engine. Photo by Guy Norris.

Guy Norris, with Aviation Week, recently posted an interesting story and photos on Pratt & Whitney’s flying test bed – a class Boeing 747SP. P&W is in the process of testing  their PW1200G engine, that is slated to for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) and Norris was able to take a tour of the unique and classic aircraft.

P&W uses a Boeing 747SP that was originally delivered to Korean Airlines (reg HL7457) on January 30, 1980. It flew with the airline until it was placed into storage in 1998. Then in 2008, P&W purchased the 747SP to use for engine testing.

Big kudos to P&W for keeping a few rows of first class seats and the mural. For those who dream of the “golden age” of flying, those are the seats you used to fly in. Compare them to some of of the products available today: Emirates Airlines or Singapore Airlines first class product and really, how can you miss the “golden age” that much?

To see more photos and learn more about the testing check out Norris’ story on Aviation Week. Also check out additional photos of the 747SP on Airliners.net.

A Preview of LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Computer image of LOT's Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Image from LOT.

Computer image of LOT's Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Image from LOT.

LOT Polish Airlines is using the addition of the 787 Dreamliner to their fleet as an opportunity to update their interior and livery. The airline describes the new interior as “modern and trendy yet an ethnic design inspired by tradition and famous symbols of Poland.”

Below are multiple photos showing what the new interior of the LOT’s 787 will look like.  LOT will configure their Dreamliner with 18 seats in Business Class in a 2-2-2 layout, 21 seats in premium economy in a 2-3-2 layout and 213 seats in economy in a 3-3-3 layout.

LOT also announced that they plan to use the 787 Dreamliner on their Chicago to Warsaw route starting in January 2013.

Business Class mock up on the LOT 787. Image from LOT.

Business Class mock up on the LOT 787. Image from LOT.

LOT's Business Class seats will be fold flat. Image from LOT.

LOT's Business Class seats will be fold flat. Image from LOT.

Economy section of LOT's 787 Dreamliner. Image from LOT.

Economy section of LOT's 787 Dreamliner. Image from LOT.

LOT's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Boeing Factory floor in Everett. Photo from LOT.

LOT's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Boeing Factory floor in Everett. Photo from LOT.

Boeing 737 MAX to get a Radical Winglet with a Boring Name

High Resolution Image (click for larger) of what Boeing expects the winglet for the new 737 MAX will look like. Image from Boeing.

High Resolution Image (click for larger) of what Boeing expects the winglet for the new 737 MAX will look like. Image from Boeing.

Last month, Boeing announced some of the design decisions for their new Boeing 737 MAX. However, there was no news on what their plans were for the winglets.  Would they stay similar to those found on the 737 NG or would they go a more radical direction? Turns out somewhere in the middle.

Boeing is planning to go with a dual feather design that they are calling the “Advanced Technology” winglet (more on the name later).  They are expecting the new winglet will save an additional 1.5% fuel burn versus the one currently on the 737.


737 MAX winglet video from Boeing
“The Advanced Technology winglet demonstrates Boeing’s continued drive to improve fuel burn and the corresponding value to the customer. With this technology and others being built into the MAX, we will extend our leadership,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Boeing states in their press release, that the 737 MAX will provide an 18% fuel burn advantage over the current Airbus A320. Unfortunately, they fail to compare the MAX to the new Airbus A320neo.

According to Airbus, the A320neo will have a 15% better fuel burn advantage over the current A320, so it appears the 737 MAX and A320neo will most likely be quite competitive to one another. I expect that these numbers, for both aircraft, will continue to change during development, so don’t get attached to them. It is safe to say that the 737 and A320 will continue to be direct competitors.

The Boeing 737 MAX 7, 8 and 9 showing off the winglets selected. Image from Boeing.

The Boeing 737 MAX 7, 8 and 9 showing off the winglets selected. Image from Boeing.

I am all for improving the 737 and I love following the changes, but I have to say that I am not too happy with the names that Boeing is coming up with. Although the MAX name has grown on me a bit since when I first heard about it (I was really not a fan), can’t Boeing come up with a better (and cooler) name than “Advanced Technology winglet?” I almost fell asleep just typing out that name.

Airbus has already stated that they are putting new winglets on the A320s and are calling them “sharklets.” That is a great name.

Yes, I know an airline is not going to choose the A320neo vs the 737 MAX based on the names (at least they better not), but the 737 and its new winglet are products that are deserving of creative names. Boeing has a history of coming up with classic names (Stratocruiser, Clipper, Dreamliner, etc). I just don’t see “MAX” and “Advanced Technology winglet” going down in the history books quite in the same way.

See additional photos of the Boeing 737 MAX with new winglets on Boeing’s website.

Lufthansa Airlines Takes Delivery of Their First Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental

Lufthansa's first Boeing 747-8I, taken from the Future of Flight's new flightline room. Photo by Sandy Ward / Future of Flight.

Lufthansa's first Boeing 747-8I (D-ABYA), taken from the Future of Flight's new flightline room. Photo by Sandy Ward / Future of Flight.

Today, Lufthansa Airlines took physical delivery of their first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. Although the first 7478I was delivered back in February to the government of Qatar, this is the first Intercontinental to be delivered to an airline.

Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8I taxiing next to the Future of Flight. Photo by Chris Sloan / Airchive.com.

Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8I taxiing next to the Future of Flight. Photo by Chris Sloan / Airchive.com.

“We are excited and thrilled to welcome the 747-8 Intercontinental to our fleet,” said Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa German Airlines. “Our passengers will love the new interior, which includes our all-new full-flat business-class cabin.”

Lufthansa 747-8I (D-ABYA) takes off from Paine Field. Click for larger. Image from Boeing.

Lufthansa 747-8I (D-ABYA) takes off from Paine Field. Click for larger. Image from Boeing.

Lufthansa’s 747-8I will begin its first revenue flight on June 1st from Frankfurt to Washington, DC. The airline has 20 of the Intercontinentals on order and are expecting to take delivery of five more by the end of the year.


Video taken by PlaneInsight
Officially, the aircraft was delivered by Boeing on April 25th. Between the official delivery date and fly-off earlier today, the airline conducted airline-specific preparations before heading to Frankfurt, where it will be greeted with another celebration.

The First Class section in the nose of the Boeing 747-8I for Lufthansa. Click for larger. Photo by Boeing.

The First Class section in the nose of the Boeing 747-8I for Lufthansa. Click for larger. Photo by Boeing.

“We are very proud and pleased that Lufthansa is the airline launch customer for the 747-8 Intercontinental,” said Boeing’s Pat Shanahan, senior vice president, Airplane Programs, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Lufthansa has been a trusted partner for many years and has contributed greatly to making the 747 a truly beloved airplane around the world. We are excited for Lufthansa’s passengers to experience the incredible new Intercontinental — it is truly a Queen of the Skies for the 21st Century.”

Lufthansa's new Business Class seat on the Boeing 747-8I. Click for larger. Photo from Lufthansa.

Lufthansa's new Business Class seat on the Boeing 747-8I. Click for larger. Photo from Lufthansa.

Lufthansa will operate the 747-8I with a configuration of 362 seats (8 First Class, 92 Business Class and 262 Economy Class). The aircraft also debuted Lufthansa’s new Business Class product, which is in a “V” arrangement, where the seats fold flat.

A huge thanks for Chris Sloan (aka @AirChive and AirChive.com — seriously check out that site and his photos from today) for being so on top of covering this event via Twitter today. 

MORE ON LUFTHANSA’S FIRST BOEING 747-8 INTERCONTINENTAL
(will be adding more as they become available)
* 200 Photos of today’s event from Chris Sloan
* Delivery day photos from the Seattle PI
* Photos from Boeing’s Randy Tinseth
* Previous photos/video from Lufthansa
* 747-8I Microsite

Airline Livery of the Week: Turkmenistan Airlines

Turkmenistan Airlines Boeing 737-700.

Turkmenistan Airlines Boeing 737-700.

Turkmenistan Airlines was founded in 1992 and is the flag carrier of Turkmenistan. The airline operates an almost all Boeing fleet consisting of the 717, 737-300, 737-700, 737-800, Boeing 757-200, 777-200LR (in VIP configuration), An-2, Mi-8 and the Il-76TD used for cargo operations.

Turkmenistan Airlines carries out schedule flights to 15 different cities with-in Europe and Asia.

Their livery is simplistic, with just a green tail and engines, with matching green titles on the fuselage. Almost every livery looks best on the Boeing 757 and I think this one is no exception.

Image: Andrew Seiber