Later this week, on April 30, Lufthansa will take delivery of their last-ever 747 aircraft.    When D-ABYU takes off for her home in Frankfurt on April 30th, it will mark the 80th 747 that will have served for Lufthansa over the past 45 years.  ‘Yankee Uniform’ will also be the 19th 747-8i that has joined the fleet since June 2012.

 

The first ever 747 joined the Lufthansa fleet on March 9, 1970

The first ever 747 joined the Lufthansa fleet on March 9, 1970.   (Courtesy: Lufthansa)

 

I was there when the first 747-8i was unveiled in Frankfurt on June 1, 2012 and I’ve been on a delivery flight of an -8i when D-ABYT (The Retro Livery) was delivered this March.   I’ve even been on a flight between Frankfurt and Washington DC where I was the only passenger in First Class.    I’ve also managed to personally capture every one of Lufthansa’s 747-8i aircraft on ‘film’.    Suffice to say I think I may have a 747-8i ‘problem’.

Aside from these experiences,  I’ve flown aboard the 747-8i many times over the past 3 years and it has become my favorite aircraft by a wide margin.  I’m not even sure if I have a second favorite aircraft.

It’s safe to say that I’ve grown attached to this model and I’m genuinely saddened by the fact that ‘YU’ marks the end of a tradition of new 4-engined Jumbo Jets in the LH fleet.

D-ABYU shows her Vortices when arriving in Paine Field after a test flight.

D-ABYU shows her Vortices when arriving in Paine Field after a test flight.

 

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Over the numbers…..

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Yes, we can look forward to the 777s and A350s joining the fleet in a few years but it simply won’t be the same as watching the ‘Queen of the Skies’ over the last several years.  Fortunately, the 747-8i aircraft are scheduled to be in the fleet for at least the next 15-20 years so us ‘avgeeks’ can still enjoy these birds for another couple of decades.

 

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D-ABYU departing on her B1 test flight