Korean Air’s new 747-8I glistening during delivery – Photo: Colin Cook | AirlineReporter
Earlier this week, at the Everett Delivery Center, Korean Air and Boeing celebrated delivery of the airline’s first of ten 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft. The delivery marked Korean becoming the only carrier of both the freighter and passenger variant, with Korean already operating seven freighters. We were invited to attend the delivery ceremony and it certainly did not disappoint.
Arriving about an hour prior to the ceremony beginning, I had the opportunity to do a little light plane spotting and to chat with some other members of the media. As you can imagine, security is tight at events like this and we had to go through a couple security checks. Once in the delivery center, I was allowed to step out onto the terrace to watch the big 747-8I be towed up to the Delivery Center. As the plane neared, the Korean Air pilots were also outside on the terrace with us. You could tell how excited they were to be a part of this event and to fly this beautiful plane home.
Qatar Airways’ First A350 (MSN006) at the Airbus Delivery Center – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
Qatar Airways, to much fanfare, took delivery today of the first commercial A350-900. Not only is this the first serial production A350 to be delivered to a customer, it is also the first of 80 A350s headed for Qatar Airways. Qatar has 36 additional -900s on order as well as 43 -1000s.
An easy way to understand the technology in the A350 – Image: Airbus
The A350 itself represents a technological leap for Airbus, as it is their first aircraft to be over 50% composite materials; 53%, technically – including the longest manufactured single pieces of carbon fiber that make up the wing assembly. The remainder of the aircraft is made up of modern metallurgical feats that manifest themselves as lighter titanium and aluminum alloys.
BONUS: OMG YES! Photos & Video of Five Airbus A350s Flying in Formation
If that wasn’t enough to impress you, the A350 is the first aircraft certified by the EASA to operate ETOPS 370 missions prior to entry-into-service (EIS). ETOPS 370 is the next phase of Extended-range Twin Operations, allowing an aircraft to be certified to fly on one engine for more than six hours. This opens up a whole host of new destinations for twin-engine aircraft, as well as adds efficiencies to existing air routes as airlines will no longer have to “hug” strategic alternate airports as tightly.
China Eastern’s first Boeing 777-300ER seen next to the Future of Flight – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer Lindgren / NYCAviation.com
Covering a story for AirlineReporter can be a dangerous business. Originally we had our Lee Zerrilla heading to the reveal of China Eastern’s first Boeing 777-300ER, when BAM he got in a minor accident. Lee is okay, but sad he was not able to make it to the event.
Have no fear, our good friends at NYCAviation (and photographer Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren) were nice enough to share their photos and information about the aircraft (thanks guys!).
Although, the photos end up showing what, I think, is a pretty ugly livery, it is what is on the inside that counts with this bird.
This is not the first time we have seen China Eastern’s new livery on the 777. We saw it when it came out of the paint booth and I have to say that I wasn’t a fan. Heck, I might have even called it the worst livery ever. Maybe a tad bit harsh, but I am just not a fan of these bland designs.
Okay. The livery doesn’t look half bad in the sunset – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | NYCAviation.com
Some wondered if this was a temporary livery, but no, this is China Eastern’s new official livery.
The new logo on the tail is not so bad. It is a swallow consisting of the letters C and E, which represents the airline’s name. Sure, that is fine and dandy, but why so boring for the rest of the aircraft?
The airline was more excited to show off the new interior of the aircraft, which is probably the part that most passengers will care most about.
Xiamen’s first Boeing 787 conducting test flights at Paine Field – Photo: The Boeing Company
On Friday, another airline took delivery of their first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner; Xiamen Airlines.
This event was special for the airline, since the 787 is the first wide-body to join their fleet. The airline currently operates Boeing 737-700s, 737-800s and 757-200s.
“We are excited to receive our first 787 Dreamliner, which is also the first widebody airplane of our all-Boeing fleet,” said Che Shanglun, president and chairman of Xiamen Airlines. “With the innovative technology and exceptional efficiency, the 787 Dreamliner will be key to our further growth and international expansion.”
The 787 is part of the airline’s plan to grow their fleet to 150 airplanes. On top of the 787, they also have over 65 737-800s, 30 737 MAX 8s, and six Comac ARJ21s on order.