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Boeing Delivers First 747-8 Intercontinental to Lufthansa

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Lufthansa's first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental (D-ABYA) takes off on a test flight. (Photo by Boeing)

Lufthansa on Wednesday became the first airline to take the delivery of Boeing’s new 747-8 Intercontinental, a critical milestone for the largest passenger plane ever built by the airframer.

Boeing promises that the 747-8I and its General Electric GEnX-2B engines will deliver double-digit fuel burn improvements over its predecessor, while emitting 30 percent less noise.

With capacity for up to 467 passengers in a three-class configuration, the 747-8I is the largest version of Boeing’s iconic 747 model and the first major update to the line in over 20 years, since the introduction of the 747-400 in 1989. At 250 ft 2 in (76.25 m) in length, the 747-8I becomes the longest passenger jet in airline service, outstretching the previous length leader, the Airbus A340-600, by 3 ft 1 in (0.94 m).

Despite the tons of extra room on the new jet, Lufthansa — which has 20 Boeing 747-8I’s on order and expects to receive five-per-year for the next few years — won’t go nuts, filling them with 362 seats: 8 in First Class, 92 in Business Class and 262 in Economy. For comparison, the airline’s 747-400s are fitted with between 322 and 346 seats.

Boeing said a formal ceremony and fly-away celebration would be held in Seattle on Tuesday, May 1st, followed by an arrival party in Frankfurt on May 2nd.

Lufthansa plans to initially operate the new aircraft between its Frankfurt hub and Washington-Dulles Airport.

While Lufthansa is the airline customer to receive the new type, the first actual delivery of the 747-8I was a VIP version, delivered to an undisclosed customer this past February.

A cargo version of the 747-8, called the 747-8 Freighter, first entered service in October 2011 with Cargolux.

Wednesday’s delivery came as somewhat of a surprise to industry watchers, as it occurred just two days after the previously scheduled April 23rd delivery date was postponed indefinitely without explanation.

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  • R

    LH Technik is big in aircraft MRO and even make a few components.  Are they ready to build their own airplane?