Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has delivered the 1,500th 747 to come off the production line to Lufthansa (Frankfurt). The milestone airplane is a 747-8 Intercontinental, the 14th one that Lufthansa will incorporate into its long-haul fleet.
“Reaching this milestone delivery is a testament to the capabilities of the airplane and our commitment to continuous innovation,” said Eric Lindblad, 747 vice president and general manager, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The new 747-8 is delivering on its promise to our customers, and we continue to look at ways to make it even more efficient in the future.”
The 747 is the first widebody airplane in history to reach the 1,500 milestone. Its iconic shape makes it instantly recognizable, and passengers have consistently voted it their favorite airplane to fly.
At a delivery ceremony yesterday (June 28), a special logo commemorating the 1,500th airplane was revealed for the first time on the pictured 747-830 D-ABYP (msn 37839).
“Lufthansa is honored that the 1,500th 747 will fly with the Lufthansa livery,” said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management. “Lufthansa is an important partner and a valued advisor in developing new commercial airplanes with exceptional economical and ecological performance such as the 747-8. The commemorative logo will be a reminder of our relationship with Boeing, now and into the future.”
Lufthansa is the launch customer of the 747-8 Intercontinental and took delivery of its first airplane in April 2012. The airline has 19 747-8 Intercontinentals on order.
The first Boeing 747-100 entered revenue service on January 22, 1970 with Pan Am on the New York–London route.
Lufthansa German Airlines on March 10, 1970 became the first European airline to take delivery of the Boeing 747-100. The first LH 747, 747-130 D-ABYA (msn 19746), was accepted on this historic day. The Jumbo was introduced into revenue service between Frankfurt and New York (JFK) on April 26, 1970. LH has operated a variant of the 747 for over 44 years.
Lufthansa also issued this statement:
Lufthansa’s 14th Boeing 747-8 landed in Frankfurt on Sunday, June 29, at 9.17 a.m. as scheduled. As well as being the 76th Jumbo that Lufthansa has received from the American manufacturer Boeing in Seattle since the 1970s, the aircraft also represents a veritable milestone in aviation history. This aircraft, whose tail number is D-ABYP (“Yankee Papa”), is the 1,500th Jumbo to be built in the world.
‘It’s an honor for Lufthansa that the anniversary Jumbo will fly in the colors of the Lufthansa crane,’ said Nico Buchholz, Head of Group Fleet Management at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. ‘For decades, Lufthansa has been one of the aircraft manufacturer’s closest advisers – a pioneer when it comes to developing new, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft,’ added Buchholz at the handover in Seattle. Lufthansa is expecting to receive a total of 19 aircraft of this type, and will therefore be the world’s largest operator of 747-8s among passenger airlines.
The “Dash 8”, as it is also known, has plenty to offer. By using the latest Jumbo, Lufthansa is taking a further step towards having a “three-liter fleet” (per passenger and 100 kilometers). The aircraft is 15 percent more fuel-efficient than its predecessor model and, as a result, its CO2 emissions are around 15 percent lower. The noise footprint of the Boeing 747-8 is 30 percent smaller compared with the older Boeing 747-400. What started as the first training flight with the new Boeing 747 over the mountains east of Seattle in October 1969 went on to become an icon of the Lufthansa fleet, and, indeed, of commercial aviation as a whole.
On March 9, 1970, the then Lufthansa CEO Herbert Culmann took delivery of the first Lufthansa Boeing 747-130 in front of the factory in Everett. The aircraft’s production number was 12 and its Lufthansa registration was D-ABYA. Lufthansa thereby became the second international airline, after Pan Am, and the first European carrier to deploy the Jumbo on scheduled services. The aircraft was host to several major world premières in succession, including the first film shown on board a Jumbo jet. Only twenty months after the maiden flight of the Boeing 747-130, the fourth Lufthansa Jumbo took off on April 2, 1971 as a modified model. Boeing had equipped the 747-200 with larger fuel tanks and a higher take-off weight of 378 tons. This meant that the aircraft had a longer range. Originally intended as a military aircraft, the Jumbo’s career was not limited to carrying passengers. On April 10, 1972, Lufthansa received the world’s first “smiling” Boeing as the launch customer of the cargo version, the Boeing 747-230F. The nose of the aircraft could be opened horizontally, making it possible to load even bulk goods without any problem. On April 19, 1972, the world’s first cargo Jumbo took off, bearing the tail number D-ABYE. This quickly catapulted Lufthansa to number one in airfreight transport.
‘A step towards the 1990s’ is how Lufthansa CEO Heinz Ruhnau described the purchase agreement signed on June 23, 1986 for an initial order of six enhanced Boeing aircraft. Lufthansa had already been involved in the planning of the Boeing 747-100. However, as the first airline to order the “Dash 400” (Boeing 747-400), it now played a key part in the development of the new aircraft, providing many hundreds of suggestions for improvements and more than 20,000 engineer hours. With this aircraft, the modern, digitalized two-man cockpit that Jürgen Weber, the man responsible for aircraft development at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg at the time and later Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa AG, and Reinhard Abraham, the former Chief Technical Officer of the Lufthansa Group, had worked to achieve became a reality. Upwards-pointing winglets, new and more economical engines, new materials such as composite materials and aluminium alloys: all of these innovations helped to cut fuel consumption by 24 percent compared with the -200 series.
On 23 May 1989, Lufthansa received the first enhanced Super Jumbo with tail number D-ABVA. The aircraft could cover almost 13,000 kilometers in 16 hours and thus reach nearly every destination in the world. As the new millennium started, the idea was put forth to develop an enhanced version of the Boeing 747-400. And so not only was the Jumbo extended by 5.6 meters, it was also totally redeveloped, including a new wing design and new engines. On May 2, 2012, Lufthansa became the first passenger airline in the world to receive a Boeing 747-8.
Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYP with the special “1500th” emblem prepares to depart from Paine Field near Everett yesterday (June 28) on its delivery flight to Frankfurt.
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