Tag: 747-8

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Here's One Airplane Bathroom That's Impervious to Hijacking

February 17, 2014 at 3:25 PM | by | Comments (0)


Above: the cockpit lavatory of the Boeing 747-8i

There's a new jumbo jet plying the skies—the Boeing 747-8. Unfortunately it's not among Boeing's top sellers, and only one airline (Lufthansa) is currently flying it with passengers.

We mention it now because the 747-8 is the only Boeing commercial aircraft with a built-in feature which would've prevented a hijacking situation like what happened with Ethiopian flight 702 earlier today. That feature: a restroom and rest area just for the cockpit, located behind the armored flight deck door, which means both pilot and co-pilot never have to leave the secure area to use the restroom.

At the debut of the 747-8 Intercontinental in June 2012, Boeing chief pilot Mark Feuerstein noted the advantages of having this lavatory and crew rest quarters inside the cockpit, as it increases security and minimizes flight crew absence from the flight deck. [Update: The restroom within the flight deck is actually an option on all 747s, and some older 747-400s have it (such as in the case of Qantas' 744 fleet), but the 747-8i is the first aircraft where it's been the popular option].

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Break Out the Crayons and Create Your Own 747 Livery

April 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve seen various contests here and there dedicated to airline and airplane liveries, but now there’s a way to play graphic designer anytime and anywhere. Boeing has fired up a pretty neat addition to their website, and they welcome one and all to slap some paint onto the side of a 747-8.

You get a blank slate jumbo jet, and then you’re welcome to rotate it this way and that way to get your livery just right. Boeing has loaded a few different paintbrushes, stamps, and designs, so there are plenty of options from which to choose. There’s a whole bunch of colors, and you can even change up the background. Unfortunately you can’t upload your own logos and photos, so you won’t be able to stick your face onto the belly of the plane.

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Frankfurt Airport's New A-Plus Concourse: A Super Home for Superjumbos

Where: Frankfurt International Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
November 19, 2012 at 11:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last month, Lufthansa opened the brand-spanking-new A-Plus Concourse at Germany's Frankfurt International Airport. Why's it so special? Well, among other things, it's directly designed for the biggest, baddest airplanes out there. We're talking A340s, 747s, 747-8is, and the almighty A380. This week, we'll take you inside and all around this place through which some 6 million travelers will journey each year.

If you're an airport whose tarmac is already crawling with superjumbos and you're about to add another 6 million passengers per year, what do you need? The answer: Lots and lots of space. German efficiency. An airline with enough mega planes and super long routes to keep the place hopping. So there you go. The answer is Frankfurt and its hometown airline, Lufthansa.

Speaking of German efficiency, let's talk tech. For passengers, Pier A-Plus boasts self-scan boarding gates, which are awesome if you hate waiting in lines. For operations, the addition of A-Plus means Frankfurt International has the world's largest airport baggage handling system. All of this becomes more and more important with each day, as Frankfurt looks to have a whopping 90 million travelers annually by 2020, up from 56 million in 2011. And those flyers will be stepping into FRA from more and more superjumbo aircraft.

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Inside Frankfurt Airport's Completely New A-Plus Concourse: Six Million Travelers Can't Be Wrong

Where: Frankfurt International Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
November 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM | by | Comment (1)

Last month, Lufthansa opened the brand-spanking-new A-Plus Concourse at Germany's Frankfurt International Airport. Why's it so special? Well, among other things, it's directly designed for the biggest, baddest airplanes out there. We're talking A340s, 747s, 747-8is, and the almighty A380. This week, we'll take you inside and all around this place through which some 6 million travelers will journey each year.

0500 hours.

The seatbelt sign is on and traytables are up and locked. The Lufthansa Airbus A380 named "Tokio" is on final approach to Frankfurt International and we're inside.

Seat 15K.

It's a window, upper deck, right over the hulking wing of this superjumbo. Looking out, the airport on the horizon glows with the fluorescence of its millions of lights, pre-dawn. Usually we're not super anxious to leave a plane to experience the airport, but Frankfurt is an exception.

Wheels down.

Turning off onto the taxiway, we can already spot the many Lufthansa crane logos that adorn each Star Alliance gate. It's pretty obvious who rules this coop.

Rounding a corner, the A380 aims for its new home on the ground—a long, sleek concourse with gates and facilities designed for its massive dimensions. Whereas the plane squeezes itself into other airports, like buttoning pants two sizes too small, here it finds Frankfurt's just-opened A-Plus Concourse is tailor-made with breathing room. Once we've parked, three jetbridges stretch out to welcome over 500 passengers into these fresh digs.

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Watch Iron Maiden's Lead Singer Fly a Boeing 747-8 (Kinda)

August 13, 2012 at 5:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

Look, it's Monday. Do we just want to spend the rest of the day watching a rocker rock-out (in a slightly different way) within a Boeing 747-8 flight simulator, and otherwise talk about how flying is "like breathing, really; it's one of the most essential things?"

Heck yes.

Our fascination with Iron Maiden lead singer (and licensed commercial pilot) Bruce Dickinson actually began when we discovered he jets around in a Boeing 757 custom-painted with the band's logo (and a badass tail). Then he considered saving an Icelandic LCC, and we were intrigued. Doesn't he have, like, rock concerts to play or something?

Happily Dickinson indulges both his passions, for music and aviation, and this earned him a sweet little visit to Boeing's HQ outside Seattle. Check out the resulting video below:

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This is the Tiny Onboard Satellite Dish That Delivers In-Flight WiFi to Your Airplane

June 7, 2012 at 1:03 PM | by | Comment (1)


For scale, that's a magazine down there in the lower left corner

By now we're going to go ahead and assume that you've lost your in-flight WiFi virginity, but have you done it over an ocean yet?

Long-haul WiFi is a real thing, and some airlines already have it installed and ready to run via satellites, provided you're willing to pay for the service. For example, Lufthansa, via its partnership with Panasonic, offers "FlyNet," which runs 20 Euros for 24 hours (with other pricing plans available). You can fly from the US to Germany and send a braggy Facebook status update from above Iceland. You know you want to.

A connection to the world wide web from 38,000' doesn't just happen by magic, of course; there's technology up the wazoo working to let you tweet "I'm on a plane." That technology is mostly contained within a special bump on the top of the plane's body—look for it on aircraft and you'll begin to see it everywhere. That bump is the home of a tiny satellite dish—the one pictured above. You have it to thank for long-haul in-flight internet and live satellite TV, where available of course.

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Six Million Pieces and Three People: Inside the Boeing 747-8i's Redesigned Cockpit

June 5, 2012 at 10:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

New airplane alert! On Friday, June 1, Lufthansa sent the very first Boeing 747-8 for passengers on its very first regularly scheduled flight. Hopping from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington DC's Dulles Airport, the jumbo-jumbo jet made history with us onboard. Stay tuned the next few days for dispatches from the tarmac!

So yes, the world's first Boeing 747-8i is up and flying and, while it's fun to celebrate all the new seats and passenger-side comforts, real appreciation for the new aircraft must include understanding that most of the major improvements came for the technical, operational end of the jumbo.

This is a plane made up of over 6 million pieces, all controlled by a few men sitting up front, switches and buttons beneath their fingertips...fingertips that know the geography of the cockpit by heart. Welcome to the Boeing 747-8i's flight deck....where the magic happens.

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The Definitive Guide to Lufthansa's New Business Class, Onboard the First 747-8i

June 4, 2012 at 3:36 PM | by | Comment (1)

New airplane alert! Last Friday, June 1, Lufthansa sent the very first Boeing 747-8 for passengers on its very first regularly scheduled flight. Hopping from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington DC's Dulles Airport, the jumbo-jumbo jet made history with us onboard. Stay tuned the next few days for dispatches from the tarmac!

It used to be that flying in luxury on a jumbo jet meant somewhat wider seats with better recline, friendlier flight attendants, a spiral staircase to the upper deck and lobster on the menu. This was the premium class of the 1970s, when Pan Am took off with the very first Boeing 747 passenger plane, a 747-100. Fast forward to 42 years later (!!) to the new 747-800 Intercontinental and, as much as we bemoan the loss of the "jet set" glamor, stepping into Lufthansa's new Business Class forces the realization that—holy mackerel—these last few decades have actually produced a plane that can again cause passengers to mouthe "wow" (or "toll" if you're German).

The 747 has always been an impressive work of aviation engineering, but it's this 747-8i that Boeing is calling "a flagship aircraft that airlines will want to customize" and "a cornerstone of the Lufthansa fleet for years to come." So, no surprise that Lufthansa chose this baby for the grand debut of the new lie-flat Business Class seats, right? So let's check it out...

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Photos and Video: Onboard the Inaugural Flight of Lufthansa's Brand New Boeing 747-8i

June 1, 2012 at 7:31 PM | by | Comments (3)

New airplane alert! Today, June 1, Lufthansa sent the very first Boeing 747-8 for passengers on its very first regularly scheduled flight. Hopping from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington DC's Dulles Airport, the jumbo-jumbo jet is making history with us onboard. Stay tuned the next few days for dispatches from the tarmac!

"Haben Sie einen schönen Flug."

The captain's calm pleasantries were the usual remarks that come at the beginning of a long flight—the weather is cloudy and warm at our destination and he hopes all passengers enjoy the onboard services during the 10-hour journey—but this is where the "usual" ended and the extraordinary began.

You see, earlier today we participated in a little bit of aviation history. Take that back—what happened wasn't little at all, but JUMBO. Flying direct from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington, DC-Dulles, the very first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental completed its very first scheduled passenger flight. It is not the 747 you already know and love, but a fresher, faster, more technologically advanced and larger 747, and Lufthansa is the only airline with their hands on this new "Queen of the Skies."

Though the majority of the passengers had completely lucked out on booking this inaugural flight and only figured out something special was afoot when the airplane came under a firetruck water cannon shower on its creep out to the Frankfurt runway, our journey to the Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental began some time ago, and we'd already been in Germany for nearly two weeks, psyching up for this first flight.

So here's what went down:

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Oh, What a Ginormous Plane! Our Instagram Photos of Lufthansa's New Boeing 747-8

May 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM | by | Comment (1)


This was taken with an iPhone. Crazy, right?

New airplane alert! Tomorrow, June 1, Lufthansa will send the very first Boeing 747-8 for passengers on its very first regularly scheduled flight. Hopping from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington DC's Dulles Airport, the jumbo-jumbo jet is making history with us onboard. Stay tuned the next few days for dispatches from the tarmac!

First things first: the Boeing 747-8 is a ginormous airplane. So ginormous that we couldn't capture her in a single photo, even though we had the entire space of Lufthansa Technik's A380 hangar to work angles. Though you may see the 747-800 rolling out on the tarmac and not recognize her from her older sibling, the 747-400 you already know and love, this new jet has serious differences and all for the better.

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Special-Edition Luxury Items for Some Special Airplanes

Where: Germany
May 24, 2012 at 12:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

You know that famous saying, "every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings?" Well, we swear that every time a new passenger aircraft type is produced, luxury goods companies roll out limited-edition items.

This month, the highlight falls on the two superjumbo-est of the superjumbos: both the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-8. You might need to get a towel to mop up your drool before you keep reading...

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Three Cute Owls and One Badass Lufthansa Bird

May 16, 2012 at 3:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

OMG. OWLS.

Okay. That's just a teaser video (with a hot shot of an Airbus A380), because what we really want to talk about is this Lufthansa video:

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