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.
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: