Today marked the delivery of the first passenger configured 747-8I. The owner is nearly confirmed as Qatari Amiri (Qatar Goverment Airline) and the aircraft was delivered basically as an empty shell but in a VIP configuration.
The owner however will not actually be able to put it to use for ANOTHER 2 YEARS!! Imagine buying your favorite “toy” only to have it tease you for 2 years while it is retrofitted and customized to your specifications. Personally, that would drive my quite nutty. I probably would have to move in to the factory where it is being retrofitted and be with it everday.
The plane left Seattle today and flew to Vancouver for customs/export processing and will then fly to Kansas to begin its custom interior installation. According to Boeing, it will take 6 months to install the Aeroloft system in the upper deck. Once that is finished, Lufthansa will actually have the plane in Hamburg for 2 years where Lufthansa’s Technik engineering superstars will complete the VIP installation.
Boeing indicated that it has sold 9 of these VIP versions, with most going to heads of states in the Middle East. Must be nice to be a head of state these days I suppose. Now we just need to get Congress to approve one for our own head of state.
Here are images from today’s delivery (Courtesy of SeattlePI.com):
Imagines Of Potential VIP Interior (Courtesy of Boeing):