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Boeing 747-8, Grand Reveal.


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:) I thought I'd talk about something else positive just to take my mind of events here at home.

As commercial aviation buff I was absolutly impressed with the new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental and it's 'new' bright Boeing coporate colour scheme. Wow, now I wish my home airline, Air New Zealand had ordered a handfull of the type along with it's new 777-300ERs.

The Intercontinental is truly a new aircraft and it's longer range and better capacity would suit routes that Air NZ operate such as the one stop to London services. Air NZ has gone down the road of the 'point to point' operation, and is paying for it by the fact that it's much vaunted and delayed 787-9s may not be ready now before late 2014!

The airline was suppose to be rid of all it's 747-400s by late 2012, but has now decided to keep two of it's best units to fly along side it's 777 family untill at least 2016.

Air NZ was never going to operate the Airbus A380 behamoth, leaving that to Qantas - but IMO should've not been too hasty in retiring the 747 so soon. The airline has launched an all new onboard experience with it's 777-300 flagships, but really it would've been enhanced further by the 747-8. (at the airline's 'secret' development base, Pullman styled beds were revealed as a future product for a new aircraft beyond the 777. Although no pictures were allowed to be taken, the writer did say it was suited to the new 747-8.)

If Air NZ needs to be one of the tools of developing the New Zealand economy, then it's international widebody fleet needs to double it's capacity and with the 787 still nowhere in site, the only twinjet left in the Boeing stable is the 777-200ULR Worldliner, unless the airline reverses it's mantra of a twinjet fleet and orders the 747-8.

Considering that a laid up old 747-400 has been pressed into emergency service evacuating people from Christchurch, prehaps the old grand dame of the skies still has a life yet? (Dammit I just can't get my mind off it)

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  • 11 months later...

First Boeing 747-8I for Lufthansa Makes its Maiden Flight

The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental set for first delivery to airline launch customer Lufthansa completed its first production flight Wednesday.

The flight — call sign Boeing 22 — lifted off from Paine Field at 8:55 am Pacific time bound for Moses Lake in central Washington, with a wide turn over Idaho and western Montana thrown in. The new jet returned several hours later to Paine Field.

While it was the first 747-8I to fly wearing the Lufthansa livery, it was not first Lufthansa 747-8I to fly, however. Sister-ship Boeing 21 has been part of the 747-8 test and certification program for Boeing, but has not yet been painted in full livery.

Lufthansa anticipates delivery of the new aircraft in early 2012.

The flight came two years to the day after the very first 747-8 Freighter made its maiden flight in 2010.


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Considering the structural problems the mighty A380 is continually facing, especially in this part of the world, the 747-8 looks like a sure bet as winning the reassuring nod of the travelling public. It's just a shame Boeing's conservative 1990's management never developed this larger version as planned. I feel it may be too little too late as airlines look to the mighty twinjets to fly more profitable point to point routes.

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:) Tried and trusted, Boeing's Queen is the way to go...A Qantas A380 lost stearing control, twice, in an attempt to depart Heathrow last night. Flight was delayed for five hours as it had to give up two departure slots at the busy airport.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Boeing delivers the first VIP 747-8 Intercontinental

Boeing (Chicago) yesterday celebrated the delivery of the first 747-8 Intercontinental VIP airplane to an undisclosed customer, according to the manufacturer. The airplane, which was delivered with a minimal interior, will enter service in 2014 after its VIP interior is installed.


The 747-8 VIP jet is the only large airplane in its class that fits today’s airport infrastructure, giving its owners the flexibility to fly to more destinations. Building on the current 747′s capability to fly into most airports worldwide, the 747-8 VIP uses the same pilot type ratings, services and most ground support equipment.

To date, undisclosed customers have ordered nine 747-8 VIP airplanes.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. The pictured 747-8K8 registered A7-HHE (msn 37544) is believed to be for Qatar Amiri Flight.



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