Back in February of this year, I had the opportunity to be at Paine Field in Washington to witness the first flight of Lufthansa’s D-ABYT (click here for gallery). This 747-8i is particularly special because it sports a ‘Retro’ livery similar to the livery that Lufthansa’s 747s carried in the 70s and 80s.
D-ABYT is the penultimate 747 that will join the Lufthansa fleet and for Airliner Enthusiasts its marks the beginning of the end of the 747 at large. Orders and deliveries are winding down as carriers prepare for Boeing 777x in the coming years.
To mark this special moment in Lufthansa’s fleet history, I decided to take my best photos of ‘YT’, who will be nicknamed ‘Cologne’, and put together a calendar highlighting her first flight. A big thanks goes to KKFlyer who took care of the layout and publishing of the calendar.
We ran a small batch of these calendars that will share with some of my friends within Lufthansa but I did pull one aside to give away.
So, if you would like a chance to win this calendar, simply leave a comment to this post which will act as your entry (only one entry per person please). I’ll keep the entry period open until midnight (EDT) on Sunday, April 3. Open to anyone, anywhere!
My next project will be a calendar dedicated to the entire Lufthansa 747-8i fleet, so look for that one in the coming weeks. If interest is strong, we may order enough so that we can sell a few as well.
Here is a peek at the calendar. We set it up so it starts with April 2015 and goes through March 2016.
The photos below do not do it justice since it was they were taken with a smart phone!
Thanks and good luck!
Lufthansa has updated their timetable and has accelerated the debut of the 747-8i in Newark.
Originally, LH was to start flying the 747-8i between Frankfurt and Newark on March 29 however that has now been moved up to February 23 (as in tomorrow). This applies to flights LH402 and LH403.
Please note that the 747-8i will temporarily disappear from Newark between March 29 and April 8 when it will be deployed to Houston and a 744 will substitute during that time. This substitution is happening because the A380 fleet is going through maintenance and certain craft are having Premium Economy and new Business Class cabins installed. The 748 will be back in Newark on April 9.
If you are flying from EWR on 402 or 403, you may want to revisit your seat assignments since the seating maps are drastically different.
What passengers in Newark may start seeing later this Spring!
As the adage goes, all good things must come to an end. In the case of Lufthansa, this means that the last 747-8i has been completed and will join the fleet in a few weeks.
‘D-ABYU’ exited the paint shop on February 16 at Paine Field and will take to the skies in the next few days for her B-1, B-2 and C-1 Flights. These flights will serve to test and certify the aircraft before it is handed over to Lufthansa sometime in March or April, depending on results of the tests.
Here are a few shots that have been kindly shared by spotters at Paine Field yesterday (I had left Seattle one day too soon!):
D-ABYU shortly after being towed out of the Paint Hangar…….Photo courtesy of Woody’s Aero Images
D-ABYU is the 19th Lufthansa 747-8i and marks the end of 3 years of 747-8i deliveries to the airline. The 747-8i made her passenger debut with Lufthansa on June 1, 2012 to rave reviews and has been nothing but a favorite of both Lufthansa and their passengers ever since.
For those of you keeping score at home, here is the timeline of Lufthansa’s 747-8i fleet:
|Aircraft Registration||Nickname||Delivered To Lufthansa
|D-ABYA||Brandenburg||April 25, 2012
|D-ABYC||Sachsen||June 30, 2012
|Mecklenburg-Vorpommern||August 24, 2012
|D-ABYF||Sachsen-Anhalt||October 23, 2012
|D-ABYG||Baden-Württemberg||March 12, 2013
|D-ABYH||Thüringen||March 27, 2013
|D-ABYI||Potsdam (Fanhansa Livery)||May 29, 2013
|D-ABYJ||Hannover||June 25, 2013
|D-ABYK||Rheinland-Pfalz||August 13, 2013
|D-ABYL||Hessen||February 6, 2014
|D-ABYM||Bayern||February 28, 2014
|D-ABYN||Niedersachsen||March 31, 2014
|D-ABYP||Nordrhein-Westfalen (1500th 747)||June 25, 2014
|D-ABYQ||Schleswig-Holstein||August 29, 2014
|D-ABYR||Bremen||January 26, 2015
|D-ABYS||February 2015 (TBD)
|D-ABYT||Retro-Livery||March 2015 (TBD)
|D-ABYU||March / April 2015 (TBD)
For enthusiasts, this also marks the beginning of the end of the 4-engine airliner. Over the next 15-20 years, the final 747s and A380s will be phased out leaving us only with 2-engine aircraft to get excited about.
If you’d like to see my 747-8i Gallery where I’ve caught every LH 747-8i except for the elusive D-ABYK, please click here to be taken to Aero-Shots.com, my personal plane spotting archive.
Now there is one minor caveat to all of this……When I was in Seattle last week, I spoke to a few people with Boeing who are familiar with the 747-8i program and brought up the fact that there is another Lufthansa 747-8i that was never finished. D-ABYE (Line/Airframe #1435 in Boeing-Speak) was used by Boeing for certain testing in 2012/13 and at the time of its manufacture, it was turned down by Lufthansa as a deliverable aircraft.
However, during the past weeks, the aircraft that would have been D-ABYE has been seen being put back into the Factory for finishing work. There seems to be 2 strong rumors circling ‘YE’, one is that in fact Lufthansa may actually wind up taking delivery of ‘YE’ while the other rumor suggests that it will be turned into a Boeing Business Jet and sold to a private individual or Sovereign State. This mystery should resolve itself in the not-too-distant future……
Lufthansa will be removing the A380 from their Frankfurt – Houston route for 2 weeks but fret not, it will be replaced by a 747-8i during that time. Could IAH possibly see?:
Preparing for taxi test
The exact dates of the swap is scheduled to take place from March 29 to April 8 according to Lufthansa.com’s booking engine. I’ll provide an additional update should this schedule change.
The swap is taking place because of the Premium Economy & New Business Class retrofit schedule for the A380.
Over the next month, Lufthansa will take delivery of their final 3 747-8i aircraft. When all is said and told, 19 ‘Queens of the Sky’ will be in the fleet for what should be 15-20 years. It also marks the beginning of the end of new 4-engine aircraft for Lufthansa (there are also 2 A380s set to still join the fleet).
The first 747-8i joined the fleet in 2012 and had her inaugural flight on June 1, 2012. I was fortunate to be in Frankfurt for the festivities surrounding the first 747-8i to join the fleet and now look back and see how quickly time has ‘flown’ by. Pun probably intended.
With ‘YS’ ready for delivery, it leaves D-ABYT and D-ABYU as the final 2 747-8ii that will join the fleet. ‘YT’ is the much-anticipated ‘Retro Jet’ who will sport the livery that was on Lufthansa aircraft in the 1980s. ‘YU’ should have her paint work completed this weekend and I’ll be able to bring you a few images of her as the last 747-8i that is scheduled to join the fleet.
Here is a look at the Retro Livery. She’s parked over a mile away and unfortunately a SCOOT 787 is in the way……
For now, here are several shots I took at Paine Field as ‘YS’ was put through the motions during a ‘B2’ test flight. Typically new aircraft go through three test flights: B1, B2, C1. The ‘B’ flights are conducted by Boeing pilots who troubleshoot and certify the aircraft. The C flight is conducted by the ‘Customer’ and typical involves the Airline’s pilots and technicians. Once A ‘C’ flight is completed, it is ready for delivery to the airline.
By the way, if you missed yesterday’s posted regarding LH Cargo’s last 777F delivery, click here!
Entering the taxiway towards runway 16R
Returning from B2 Flight
Over the numbers…..