On February 8, Lufthansa’s D-ABYA took off from Frankfurt for a day-long tour of German airports to show off the new livery design unveiled by the airline earlier in the week.
I was fortunate enough to be part of a photographer group that received special permission to be on the infield of the airport to catch her taking off. This video captures the moments that she pulled away from Frankfurt.
As you watch the video, you’ll hear a slighty annoying ‘machine gunning’ noise. That is my camera’s shutter going off while I was taking pictures. I had a Go-Pro mounted on my flash-shoe so that I could take photos and capture video at the same time.
In Frankfurt today, Lufthansa pulled out all the stops and threw a proper party to officially unveil their new logo when D-ABYA was put on display in Hangar 7.
Though the livery has been ‘public’ for several days, today was the first time that a significant amount of people had a chance to finally see her in person, officially carrying the new look of Lufthansa.
Earlier in the day, I attended a press briefing hosted by Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr that discussed some of the logic and rationale behind the decision to update the look. Some of his comments were expected, yet some raised an eyebrow. I’ll go into greater detail about his comments in another post. I’ll also talk about what passengers can expect once they get aboard a Lufthansa aircraft starting this Spring. All I can say at this point is that I came away impressed with what is planned and look forward to seeing the rollout.
For now, because I’m working on no sleep over the last 48 hours, I’ll leave you with these images from tonight’s party to whet your appetite. I’ll have a lot more from today’s events to talk about. Tomorrow I’ll have exclusive shots of ‘YA’ on the ramp at Frankfurt as she prepares for her Tour Of Germany. If I’m lucky, I might get to feel her jet blast as she scoots past me. Fingers crossed!
Special light effects danced all over the fuselage…..
Lufthansa updated their timetable to reflect the deployment of the 747-8i on 2 routes that have yet to see the ‘Queen of the Skies’.
For starters, LH will send the 747-8i ‘home’ when it is deployed on flights between Seattle and Frankfurt from November 6 to December 30, 2017 in anticipation of increased holiday traffic.
‘YS’ returning to Paine Field after a test flight
The more surprising debut of the 747-8i will be to Dubai, UAE. However, the appearance will be short-lived since the 747-8i will only fly from Frankfurt to Dubai between October 16 and October 30. This temporary assignment will allow pax on the route to experience First Class.
With the good news, comes a bit of bad….
Effective October 29, 2017, LH will no longer service Doha, Qatar as part of their Frankfurt – Kuwait City – Doha circuit. Service will continue between FRA and KWI, but will no longer continue onward to Doha. Can’t help to think if all the in-fighting between several mid-eastern countries and Qatar has anything to do with the demand on the route.
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….
In case you missed it, last week was a week to forget for Lufthansa’s D-ABYA, their first 747-8i that entered service back on June 1, 2012.
On 2 separate occasions, ‘Brandi’ had to make unscheduled landings due to smoke/fire alarms in the nose gear bay being triggered. When fire alarms go off, the plane has to land ASAP. No questions, no debate and if not possible, no fuel dump.
The first incident took place only a few minutes into her flight on Tuesday August 4 from Frankfurt to Rio de Janeiro. She returned safely shortly after take off and passengers were booked on later flights to Rio.
Then on August 7, while enroute from Frankfurt to New York (JFK), she was forced to land in Manchester, England for the same reason. ‘YA’ spent the night in MAN and flew back with her passengers to FRA the next day. Passengers were accommodated at local hotels in MAN and then rebooked on flights to get them to NYC after returning to FRA.
Thanks to a few well placed sources (FlyerTalk’s Oliver2002 for example), the reason behind these false alarms has been discovered. Apparently Frankfurt’s ground crews had jammed a tow bar in the nose gear of D-ABYA and in the process of freeing it damaged the smoke and fire sensors.
The problem has been identified and resolved. Fortunately it had nothing to do with the aircraft itself or its reliability but rather with a ground handler that should have paid better attention to what they were doing around a 350 million dollar aircraft!