AMERICAS: Boeing begins assembly of first 747-8 Intercontinenal

Boeing has announced it began assembly of the first 747-8 Intercontinental at its Everett, Washington factory. Late last week, mechanics took the first step in major assembly for the new airplane by loading its wing panels and spars in the assembly tools. “This milestone symbolises the dedication, focus and hard work that our team, suppliers […]


Boeing has announced it began assembly of the first 747-8 Intercontinental at its Everett, Washington factory. Late last week, mechanics took the first step in major assembly for the new airplane by loading its wing panels and spars in the assembly tools. “This milestone symbolises the dedication, focus and hard work that our team, suppliers and customers have invested in designing this wonderful airplane,” said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 programme, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The first 747-8 Intercontinental is scheduled for delivery to launch customer Lufthansa in late 2011.

Lufthansa has ordered 20 747-8 Intercontinentals, with purchase rights for an additional 20. “We are very pleased to see that the production on the 747-8 Intercontinental has begun,” said Nico Buchholz, senior vice president, Corporate Fleet of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “We are looking forward to welcoming the aircraft in our fleet as it is a component of Lufthansa’s strategy to modernize its fleet and increase environmental stewardship.”

The new 747-8 Intercontinental is stretched 18.3 feet (5.6 m) from the 747-400 to provide 467 seats — 51 more than its predecessor — in a three-class configuration. GEnx-2B engines and a new wing design provide airlines a quieter, more fuel-efficient airplane. The 747-8 is 16 per cent more fuel efficient and creates a 30 per cent smaller noise footprint than its predecessor. The 747-8 also provides nearly equivalent trip costs and 13 per cent lower seat-mile costs than the 747-400, plus 26 percent greater cargo volume.