Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Lufthansa are fast approaching the next major milestone on the 747-8 Intercontinental program with the start of pre-delivery testing of the new airplane at Lufthansa's main operations base at Frankfurt Airport from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9.
Lufthansa will conduct a number of tests to help ensure a smooth integration of the newest member of the 747 family into Lufthansa operations. Lufthansa maintenance and engineering personnel will rehearse ground-handling processes for the 747-8 Intercontinental within the airline's facilities and on its ramps at the airport. In addition, the crews will check how their ground-support equipment accommodates the airplane. These checks will help Lufthansa ensure a smooth entry into service for crews and passengers in early 2012.
The airplane is scheduled to arrive at Frankfurt Airport late afternoon Central European Time (CET) on Dec. 6 after an approximately 9-hour flight from Seattle. Three Lufthansa pilots will join two Boeing pilots on the flight crew for the flight. The airplane will depart early afternoon CET Dec. 9. Lufthansa will release photographs of the airplane's visit to Frankfurt, at its website http://presse.lufthansa.com/de/mediathek/bildarchiv.html.
The airplane that will visit, known to Boeing as RC021, is one of three airplanes that have served in the 747-8 Intercontinental flight test fleet. It was specifically used to test interior systems such as heating and air conditioning, cabin lighting and systems and galleys.
The airplane is painted white with a gray belly and a blue tail fin – a basecoat of the Lufthansa livery without decals – and will be the fifth 747-8 Intercontinental to join Lufthansa's fleet when it is delivered in the third quarter 2012. The first 747-8 Intercontinental destined for Lufthansa is completing construction at Boeing's facility in Everett, Wash.
The 747-8 Intercontinental provides double-digit improvements in fuel economy and carbon emissions per passenger and generates a 30 percent smaller noise footprint than the 747-400. The 747-8 Intercontinental applies interior features from the 787 Dreamliner that include a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings.
Lufthansa has ordered a total of 20 747-8 Intercontinental airplanes. Boeing and Lufthansa share a strong tradition of innovation and partnership that continues with the new 747-8 Intercontinental.