Tag: Lufthansa 747-8 First Flight

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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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