The second Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental (named RC021) took to the skies on April 26th and Boeing has just release their official video.
This 747-8I is special, since it will be the first Intercontinental to actually enter passenger service and will be delivered to Lufthansa Airlines. The first (RC001), which first took off on March 20th, will be going to a private buyer.
As reported earlier, even though this Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental will be going to Lufthansa, it does not have the full livery since the aircraft is going through flight testing. However, I have heard rumors that a full liveried Lufthansa Boeing 747-8I might be coming out of the paint hangar sometime this summer.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner (ZA001) and Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental (RC020) flying side-by-side. Photo by Boeing. Click for much larger.
If a picture is worth a 1000 words, this is worth probably around a million. This is the eye candy of eye candy for airline nerds, so please enjoy the 747-8 Intercontinental (RC001) and the 787 Dreamliner (ZA001) flying next to each other during flight tests. The photo was taken April 16 by flight test photographer Leo Dejillas over Washington state. Yea, he has a rough job huh? Click the photo for a larger version.
UPDATE: Boeing has a great link to make this image your desktop background. It is now mine!
The second Boeing 747-400 (F-GITB) to be scapped. Photo from Air Salvage International Limited
The Boeing 747 starts her next chapter with the first flight of the 747-8 Intercontinental. As we look to the future of the jumbo jet, we also have started the begining of the end for the Boeing 747-400. In July 2010, the first three 747-400s were taken to Air Salvage International, located in Hampshire, UK and destroyed for salvage.
The first -400 first flew on April 29, 1988 and became the best selling 747 model. The -400 differed from the -300 with an updated cockpit, the addition of winglets, additional fuel and other odds and ends. The first three to be salvaged all served their entire lives with Air France. It is sad to think about the first Boeing 747-400’s being destroyed, never to fly again. Let’s get to know the three -400’s that were the first to go:
This aircraft was delivered to Air France in February 1991. In September 1993, she was operating as flight AF072 from Paris to Los Angeles to Tahiti. The aircraft went off the end of the runway, but no one was killed and the plane was repaired and placed back into service. The aircraft was stored in February 2010 after serving Air France for almost 20 years. She has the official title of being the very first Boeing 747-400 to be scrapped.
* Photo of F-GITA being torn up via Airliners.net
* Photo of F-GITA off the runway via AirDisaster.com
* 88 pics of F-GITA’s life via Airliners.net
She was delivered to Air France in May of 1991. During her almost 20 years of service for Air France, she mostly flew out of Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG). She was pulled out of service and stored in March 2010.
* 77 Photos of F-GITB via Airliners.net
This is the newest of the first three to be scrapped. She was delivered to Air France in September 1991 and served just short of 19 years before being stored in April 2009.
* Photo of F-GITC wearing and experimental Air France livery
*72 photos of F-GITC via Airliners.net
While Boeing 747-400s are being destroyed, there talk of two Boeing 747-200s to fly US passengers. It might seem odd at first, but when you look at the fact that there were 694 Boeing 747-400s delivered and only 12 have been taken out of service to date, that isn’t too shabby.
“For more than 20 years, the 747-400 has helped foster the proud legacy of the 747 family. It has been the world’s favorite airplane and a proven performer,” Joanna Pickup with Boeing 747 Communications told AirlineReporter.com.
When asked what aircraft type that Boeing is hoping customers will replace their Boeing 747-400 with, Pickup explained, “The 747-8 Intercontinental is perfectly suited to serve the 400 to 500-seat market served by the 747-400, with more range, more passengers, more cargo, and with lower operating costs.”
So if you are in the market to buy a Boeing 747-400 in the next few years, you are in luck. It is likely that we will see more -400’s looking for a new home (or maybe to be made into a home) for cheap.
UPDATE: “Note that to date Air France counts in its fleet 10 B747-400. This aicraft is foreseen to be maintained in the fleet until 2016, ” Air France spokesperson explained. “Indeed, B747-400 was one of the most successful devices of an economic point of view up to the arrival of the new generation 777-300ER.”
Lufthansa's first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental at Paine Field on March 22nd.
Last week I posted an aerial photo of Lufthansa’s first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental at Paine Field. Many have been asking “what’s up with the livery?” It hast he blue tail and gray bottom, but no Lufthansa lettering or logo. Here’s your answer:
“This aircraft is carrying a “partial” Lufthansa livery, because it will be used for test flight purposes, during which it is still owned and operated by Boeing,” Martin Riecken, Director of Corporate Communications in the Americas for Lufthansa explains. “After the test program (approx. 300 flight hrs) is completed, it will get the missing Lufthansa livery (logotype, crane etc.) in October.”
So there we go, mystery solved. Can’t wait to see the plane in full livery.
The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental during it's first flight yesterday. Photo by Boeing - click for larger.
Over the past few months, there has been a lot of attention around the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. I wanted to wrap it all up with a conclusion of the first flight and links to all the interesting events since the start of assembling the first 747-8I in May 2010.
Yesterday, the 747-8I took off for the first time just before 10am from Paine Field with chief 747-8 test pilot Captain Mark Feuerstein at the controls and Captain Paul Stemer to his side. During the flight, the airplane reached about 19,000 feet and flew up to 250kts (288mph). After almost four and a half hours, the 747-8I successfully landed at Boeing Field to a cheering crowd.
Once landed, the plane taxied and waited for all the media to move to a white tent before being towed up closer. Stairs were brought out and the two smiling pilots were greeted by their families and Boeing executives.
“What a great privilege to be at the controls of such a great airplane on its first flight,” said Feuerstein. “And what an honor to share this day with the thousands of men and women who designed and built this airplane.”
While parked right outside the media tent, the blue initials “JFS” became quite noticeable. These initials are for Joe Frederick Sutter who is considered by many to be the father of the original Boeing 747 program. He was present for the event and today is actually celebrating his 90th birthday (Happy Birthday Joe!).
There will be two Boeing 747-8I’s completing 600 test hours before being certified for delivery. Boeing is expecting to deliver their first Boeing 747-8 Freighter by the end of the summer and the first Intercontinental by the end of 2011.
The excitement of the first flights for the 787 Dreamliner, 747-8 Freighter and Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental is now completed. Now we wait for the first deliveries and watch closely as Bombardier works on their new C-series and Airbus completes the A350. In this business, the excitement never seems to end!
A look back at my blogs on the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental (dates are when the stories were posted):
* May 11, 2010: Boeing starts the assembly of the first 747-8 Intercontinental
* June 15, 2010: The assembly of the fuselage begins
* October 21, 2010: Video of the 747-8I being put together
* November 1, 2010: Video of the 747-8I being moved to final assembly position
* January 16, 2011: First simulated flight for the Intercontinental
* February 02, 2011: She is seen outside without paint for the first
* February 12, 2011: The 747-8I gets all wrapped up to hide the livery and media gets to see the first Lufthansa 747-8
* February 13, 2011: Video and photos/write up for the 747-8 unveiling
* February 23, 2011: Photo of the Intercontinental in the snow
* March 14th, 2011: Interior tour of the Boeing 747-8I
* March 20th, 2011: Photos and video of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental’s first flight and first landing