How does Boeing paint their largest aircraft — well very carefully of course. This video, posted by Lufthansa, shows how Boeing went about painting a 747-8 Intercontinental (D-ABYA). The Lufthansa livery is very simple, but elegant at the same time. It looks right at home on a Boeing 747-8I.
From December 6th to the 9th, one of Boeing 747-8 Intercontinentals, RC021, was flown to Frankfurt Germany, so that Lufthansa could complete pre-delivery testing at the Frankfurt Airport. Three Lufthansa and two Boeing pilots made the nine hour journey from Seattle to Frankfurt. The aircraft will be the fifth 747-8I that Lufthansa will take delivery of and the first delivery is expected sometime in “early 2012.”
Luckily, Lufthansa took quite a few photos of the Intercontinental’s visit and it is time to share:
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, in front of their Technik Repair facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, inside the Technik Maintenance facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES PHOTO (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8I rocks the GEnx-2B67 engine. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental has one sexy backside. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Nose shot of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's Technik facility in Frankfurt is HUGE and has a way of making large aircraft look small. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on the tarmac in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.
Computer mock up of what Arik Air's first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental will look like. Photo from Boeing. Click for much larger.
Let’s all welcome Arik Air to the exclusive “We Have a Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on Order” club. The Nigerian-based airline announced earlier in the week that they have placed orders for two of the new 747-8I aircraft.
“Air travel within the region continues to grow at a rapid pace and we must prepare our fleet to accommodate that growth,” said Sir JIA Arumemi-Johnson, owner and chairman of Arik Air. “Boeing’s new 747-8 fits perfectly into our long-term planning… As we look into the future, the 747-8 Intercontinental is a must have for Arik Air.”
Arik is using their larger A340-500s on routes to London and New York. It is likely that the airline is looking to increase capacity to the US and Europe and possibly enter into China.
Sometimes a livery will look good on a smaller aircraft, but when scaled up, it loses its beauty. Luckily for Arik, they have a livery that works on the smaller CRJ-900 to the much larger 747-8I. Once they take delivery of their first 747-8I, I pretty sure this will be the largest aircraft in the world that will sport the color pink (not fully sure, can you prove me wrong?).
There are currently four airlines that have announced orders for the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental: Lufthansa, Korean Air, Air China and Arik Air. There are an additional nine private Boeing Business Jet 747-8I’s on order as well.
While catching a ride in a Boeing Stearman, Seattle Photographer and NYCAviation Chief Correspondent Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren got a nice shot of the first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental in full Lufthansa livery. Previously, we have seen another 747-8I in partial Lufthansa livery, missing her titles and logo. Interestingly, the registration number, D-ABYA, was used on Lufthansa’s very first Boeing 747-100 delivered on October 3, 1970. According to Lufthansa, the registration was created based on a specific pattern set for the airline. D represents Duetschland, A stands for an aircraft weighing over 20 tons, B is for Boeing, the Y stands for the aircraft type (V is the designation for the 747-400) and the final letter represents the actual aircraft and since this is the first to get a Lufthansa registry, it is A. According to the airline a name for the first 747-8 Intercontinental has not yet been decided.
Recently, the Boeing 747-8 Freighter won certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing is set to deliver the first 747-8F to Cargolux on September 19th and the second on the 21st. The 747-8I is still under going flight testing and the first is expected to be delivered to a private customer sometime later this year. Lufthansa is expected to take delivery of their first Intercontinental sometime in early 2012.
I am a fan of the simplistic Lufthansa livery, but if you are wondering what a retro scheme might look like on the 747-8 Intercontinental, someone has already done a mock up. I was able to find some additional photos of Lufthansa’s full-liveried 747-8I on Lufthansa’s website taken by Boeing. Click any for larger:
Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental inside the Boeing Factory.
Lufthansa 747-8I paint hangar roll out
A full liveried 747-8I rolls out of the paint hangar overnight.
A Lufthansa Boeing 747-8I sits on the flight line at Paine Field.
This post was updated with additional photos and information.