Boeing plans 6 December 747-8I Frankfurt visit

Washington DC
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Boeing plans to fly its first 747-8 Intercontinental for a visit to Lufthansa, its airline launch customer for the aircraft, from 6 to 9 December.

The arrival in Germany occurs exactly six years to the day when Lufthansa placed the launch order for 20 of the General Electric GEnx-2B67-powered aircraft in 2006.

The aircraft is expected arrive at the airline's Frankfurt, Germany base in the early afternoon local time following a 9h flight from Seattle, with three Lufthansa pilots and two Boeing pilots on board.

While in Germany the aircraft will be used to validate ground-handling processes with the airline's equipment.

The aircraft, the second of three in the -8I test fleet dubbed RC021, was responsible for conducting interior evaluations on the new type, which will enter service in the first quarter of 2012 with 386-seats, including the carrier's new business class offering supplied by B/E Aerospace.

RC021 is painted with a white body, gray belly and navy blue tail, representing Lufthansa's colours, but excludes the airline's decals. This particular aircraft will enter Lufthansa's fleet in the third quarter 2012 as the carrier's fifth delivery following post-flight test refurbishment.

First delivery of a 747-8I is slated for early 2012 to a completion centre to be configured as a VIP transport.