Earlier today, Boeing released its forecast for the commercial aviation market for the next 20 years. This typically discusses what Boeing sees coming for the industry including demand for certain type of aircraft and the demographics of future customers.
What was noticeably absent from the 2017 version of this forecast was any talk of the 747. They have acknowledged that the 747 platform is being wound down, without any serious orders forthcoming.
For the first time in decades, Boeing is now looking to a future driven only by 2-engine aircraft, primarily the 737, 787 and upcoming 777x platforms. The forecast suggest that the aircraft market over the next 20 years will require over $6 trillion in new aircraft deliveries.
D-ABYT prepares for her first ever flight, a B1 test flight at Paine Field.
Of course this makes all the sense in the world since technology has allowed 2 engines to do the work of 4, and deliver passengers to their destinations in more comfort and safety than ever before. But for the aviation romanticists in the world that have always seen the 747 as the most beautiful aircraft in the sky, such a sobering moment doesn’t pass easily.
In their comments, Boeing stated that they were simply being realists in their projections and see that the era of 4 engine aircraft is drawing to an end. I guess all that’s left is to enjoy the Queen of the Skies for as long we can….
Related: Lufthansa 747-400 Gallery
Lufthansa 747-8i Gallery
Lufthansa has announced that effective October 30, 2016, service between Munich and Sao Paulo, Brazil (GRU) will be cancelled. The flight numbers for this route are LH504 (MUC-GRU) and LH505 (GRU-MUC).
Daily service between Frankfurt and ‘GRU’ aboard their 747-8i aircraft will continue as usual.
A year ago today, one of Lufthansa’s most popular aircraft was officially delivered by Boeing and I was there to experience what is perhaps the highlight of my ‘Avgeek’ hobby.
On March 25, 2015 Boeing literally handed over the keys to Lufthansa’s 18th 747 and a small group of us took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington and brought her home to Frankfurt. Since entering service she has been a huge favorite of passengers and avgeeks alike due to her unique paint scheme. To honor their 60th Anniversary, LH had ‘Yankee Tango’ painted in a livery that resembled what the 747 fleet looked like in the 1970s when LH began flying 747-100 and -200 variants. Later in the 1990s, the -400 model would begin to replace the previous version. In all, LH had at one time or another operated 4 747-100, 26 747-200, 31 747-400 (13 still in use), and now 19 747-8i model aircraft.
The delivery event had been overshadowed by the Germanwings crash they day before and it was even discussed that the delivery be postponed. Ultimately it was decided that the aircraft should go home as scheduled if for nothing else than to demonstrate some level of normalcy and to keep to the schedule that had been months in the planning.
Not exactly a routing that one sees often…..
Having a 747-8i to share with only a few people and having the ability to roam anywhere in the aircraft including hours spent with the pilots in the cockpit was certainly a one-off experience. In addition, since the Economy Class cabin was not installed since the seats were in Frankfurt, it gave the 748 a cavernous feeling. As a bonus, since we were flying a very northern route from Everett, I finally got to experience the Northern Lights as well. It was certainly a once in a lifetime event for me. Until of course LH starts to take delivery of their 777s…….
I share below the stories I posted that covered the delivery event in case you’d like to see what’s behind a Delivery Flight. I’ll also include links to my dedicated ‘Yankee Tango’ gallery on my Aero-Shots.com plane-spotting website that has ton of photos of the aircraft going through her very first test flights. Enjoy!
‘Yankee Tango’ Delivery Coverage: