Some day very soon -- perhaps even next Monday or Tuesday -- Lufthansa will formally accept the first Boeing 747-8 airliner. The exact date still remains a mystery. On 30 March, Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz refused to commit to a delivery date during a brief interview on the sidelines of an International Aviation Club luncheon, even though his airline had already tipped his hand a week earlier. Boeing also won't commit to a firm date for the delivery ceremony. Certainly, recent experience offers no assurance on timelines for 747-8 delivery ceremonies. So far, there's been no sign of a Cargolux/Qatar/Boeing-like impasse.
We've decided we prefer the added suspense. There are already intriguing questions hanging over the future of the 747-8 airliner -- Will Boeing find a fourth airline customer? Could the 777-9X kill the 747-8 airliner, or will the latter's unique passenger-cargo combination preserve a niche for the Queen of the Skies for another decade or more? Like the delivery ceremony date, only time will tell.
While we're waiting, brush up on your trivia knowledge of the aircraft the 747-8 succeeds. With nearly 700 built over a 20-year production life, the 747-400 deserves a final memorial viewing on this blog. Enjoy our Movie Monday.