When flight LX7545 arrived in Zurich after a short hop from Geneva on August 15, it marked the end of an era in SWISS aviation. With the completion of this flight came the retirement of SWISS’ last Avro RJ100 aircraft, one of 21 that had served SWISS dutifully for 15 years. In addition to the RJ100, SWISS had also operated 4 of RJ85 variant.
During its 2 decades of service, this workhorse earned the nickname of ‘Jumbolino’ due to the fact that it hung 4 engines from its wings as it sought to imitate much larger aircraft even though it served as a short haul specialist.
SWISS’ last RJ100 arrives to a water cannon salute after completing its final flight. (Photo Credit: SWISS).
According to SWISS, the RJ100 fleet flew over 700,000 hours and operated well over a half-million flights during its successful tenure with the airline.
The retirement of the Jumbolino was primarily due to the addition of Bombardier C-series aircraft to the fleet. With the C-series, SWISS gains substantial operational improvement and capacity over the RJ100. Currently there are 10 C-Series (8 of the -100, and 2 of the -300 variant), with plans for 20 more to join the fleet by the end of next year.
3 RJ100s remain in service with Brussels Airlines but their retirement is planned before the end of the year. Lufthansa Group will no longer operate the aircraft type after SN retires their 3 birds.
A year ago today, one of Lufthansa’s most popular aircraft was officially delivered by Boeing and I was there to experience what is perhaps the highlight of my ‘Avgeek’ hobby.
On March 25, 2015 Boeing literally handed over the keys to Lufthansa’s 18th 747 and a small group of us took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington and brought her home to Frankfurt. Since entering service she has been a huge favorite of passengers and avgeeks alike due to her unique paint scheme. To honor their 60th Anniversary, LH had ‘Yankee Tango’ painted in a livery that resembled what the 747 fleet looked like in the 1970s when LH began flying 747-100 and -200 variants. Later in the 1990s, the -400 model would begin to replace the previous version. In all, LH had at one time or another operated 4 747-100, 26 747-200, 31 747-400 (13 still in use), and now 19 747-8i model aircraft.
The delivery event had been overshadowed by the Germanwings crash they day before and it was even discussed that the delivery be postponed. Ultimately it was decided that the aircraft should go home as scheduled if for nothing else than to demonstrate some level of normalcy and to keep to the schedule that had been months in the planning.
Not exactly a routing that one sees often…..
Having a 747-8i to share with only a few people and having the ability to roam anywhere in the aircraft including hours spent with the pilots in the cockpit was certainly a one-off experience. In addition, since the Economy Class cabin was not installed since the seats were in Frankfurt, it gave the 748 a cavernous feeling. As a bonus, since we were flying a very northern route from Everett, I finally got to experience the Northern Lights as well. It was certainly a once in a lifetime event for me. Until of course LH starts to take delivery of their 777s…….
I share below the stories I posted that covered the delivery event in case you’d like to see what’s behind a Delivery Flight. I’ll also include links to my dedicated ‘Yankee Tango’ gallery on my Aero-Shots.com plane-spotting website that has ton of photos of the aircraft going through her very first test flights. Enjoy!
‘Yankee Tango’ Delivery Coverage:
Lufthansa has unveiled a new interactive website that lets visitors scroll through the post-war history of Lufthansa. The digitized timeline begins in 1951 and captures all of the key moments for Lufthansa over the last 7 decades.
Prior to this, Lufthansa would regularly publish ‘As Time Flies By’ to document the airline through the years but it was only available to Lufthansa ‘insiders’ and its not nearly as thorough as the interactive version found online.
Sample screen from Lufthansa’s new digital timeline
What really makes this tool interesting is all of the video clips and photos that have been embedded into the timeline. When it comes to aircraft, pictures and videos tell the story far better than any amount of word could ever say. LH has done a great job bringing a lot of photos and videos out of the archives for this project!
You also have the option of searching for certain events based on subject and keywords so you can focus on the topics that interest you the most.
To access the time website, simply click here. The website defaults to German but an English version is available by changing the language option in the settings menu. For most, your computer will most likely auto-translate for you.