Behind The Scenes Of LUFTHANSA’s 747-8i (D-ABYT) Delivery Event:  Part I

Behind The Scenes Of LUFTHANSA’s 747-8i (D-ABYT) Delivery Event: Part I

On March 25 I was invited to take part in the delivery ceremony and flight for Lufthansa’s penultimate 747-8i, D-ABYT.   What makes this 747-8i a bit more special than her peers is the fact that the aircraft was painted in a livery that was used on Lufthansa aircraft in the 1970s and 80s.   In some circles, it is referred to a ‘Retro-Jet’ or ‘Retro-Livery’.

The timing of this delivery was designed to compliment Lufthansa’s 60th Anniversary Celebration event that was to take place on April 15 in Frankfurt, but due to Germanwings tragedy the event was cancelled out of respect for the loss of life in the crash.  It is also because of the crash that I delayed publishing any content related to the delivery flight out of respect to the situation.



Lufthansa’s D-ABYT at Boeing’s Everett Delivery Center


Boeing's crew puts the finishing pre-flight touches on 'YT'

Boeing’s crew puts the finishing pre-flight touches on ‘YT’


The delivery event at Boeing’s Everett Delivery Center had a muted and somber feel to due to the crash.   Initially, plans had called for a ‘Ribbon Cutting’ ceremony on the ramp next to the aircraft to celebrate the occasion along with a bit of ‘pomp’.    However, Boeing and Lufthansa decided to hold a much simpler ceremony indoors where the Captain of the delivery flight,  Uwe Strohdeicher  and Boeing’s head of their 747 program, Bruce Dickenson each signed a ceremonial Purchase Certificate during a Luncheon hosted by Boeing at the Delivery Center.



Capt. Strohdeicher speaks to the strength of the relationship that exists between Boeing and Lufthansa.



Capt. Strohdeicher and Bruce Dickenson ahead of the signing ceremony.



It’s ‘ceremoniously official’…..Lufthansa owns ‘YT’




The crew for the delivery flight:



The pilots for the flight.



The entire flight crew shortly before boarding.


As I mentioned earlier, this delivery event was more special than what is typically involved for a delivery flight.   Usually only a handful of people (5-7 including pilots) are on a delivery flight and they are usually airline or Boeing employees that are onboard to monitor the aircraft.  For this event however we nearly filled the Business Class cabin on the lower level.    Lufthansa invited several members of the German press to cover the event and Boeing used this delivery flight to reward some of their colleagues who had worked specifically on this aircraft with a 4 day trip to Frankfurt to visit Lufthansa and to take in the city.

You’re asking who sat in the 8 First Class seats?   Boeing and Lufthansa awarded those seats to Boeing employees through a lottery selection.   If someone pulled a piece of paper from a hat with a star on it, they sat in front.  A nice gesture to recognize employees who worked from start to finish on ‘YT’.

Soon after lunch, we prepared to board the aircraft for the flight to Frankfurt which was handled like any other international flight leaving the USA.    The Everett Delivery Center has 2 Gates that handle Boeing delivery flights and is technically regarded as an airport.   Both gates are equipped with a security check point complete with TSA staff who X-ray luggage and screen passengers through metal detectors (and no, there is no Pre-Check lane 😉  ).     After clearing security, your credentials and passport are checked to make sure you are authorized to be on the flight.

Once through the process, I was allowed to board the aircraft and was able to choose any available Business Class seat available on the lower deck.   I was among the first 10-15 passengers to board, so it was easy to find a seat.   I wound up sitting in 4A but I use the term ‘sitting’ loosely since I spent only an  hour or so actually in the seat.    For most of the flight I was simply ‘taking in’ the aircraft, inhaling that ‘new airplane’ smell,  and enjoying the fact that we had open access to most of it.

I’ll end Part I at this point since I want to dedicate an entire post to the flight itself.   In Part II, I’ll go into far more detail about the onboard experience including  delivery flight dining, an economy cabin with no seats, the fantastic Boeing Swag Bag, and other bits and pieces from an amazing experience.

If you’re an avgeek, you won’t want to miss it.

Update and Correction:  LUFTHANSA’s 747-8i Retro Jet Enters Service Today

Update and Correction: LUFTHANSA’s 747-8i Retro Jet Enters Service Today

As I had warned in my previous post regarding the debut of Lufthansa’s retro 747-8i and the fact that changes to the timetable were possible, well change has happened.

Originally the Retro 747, D-ABYT, was to debut on Thursday, April 16 between Frankfurt and Chicago.  However the timeline for her introduction has been moved up to today, April 15.

D-ABYT is now scheduled to fly between Frankfurt and New York’s JFK as Lufthansa Flight LH404, departing FRA at 5:10p local time.   It will return as flight LH405, departing JFK at 9:55p.


What passengers in Newark may start seeing later this Spring!

D-ABYT enters service, scheduled to fly to New York’s JFK


At this point I don’t there’s much chance for any more changes to the plan….hopefully.


H/T:  FlyerTalk’s Oliver2002

Lufthansa’s Retro Livery 747-8i Enters Service Thursday!

Lufthansa’s Retro Livery 747-8i Enters Service Thursday!

Lufthansa’s retro 747-8i, soon to be dubbed ‘Cologne’, enters service on April 16 when she departs from Frankfurt and heads for Chicago.

D-ABYT, or ‘Yankee Tango’ will be operating on flight LH430 from Frankfurt and LH431 from Chicago.


D-ABYT prepares for her first ever flight, a B1 test flight at Paine Field.

D-ABYT prepares for her first ever flight, a B1 test flight at Paine Field.


As always, last minute changes can happen to aircraft assignments, so I’ll provide an update if that changes.

‘YT’ was delivered to Lufthansa on March 25 and was set to be introduced to the public at an event in Frankfurt tomorrow celebrating LH’s 60th Anniversary.  However, due to the Germanwings tragedy, the event was cancelled for obvious reasons.

If you’re any bit of an ‘Avgeek’, come back to the website on Monday for some interesting, once in a lifetime content from March 25th……..



Come back Monday for the ‘Rest Of The Story’