A consortium of investors led by Switzerland-based Van Lattmann Corporate Communications (VLCC) has embarked on an ambitious project to operate VIP versions of the Airbus A380 as flying cruise liners. The first of the aircraft is provisionally named the Dicke Berta after the German “Big Berta” World War I gun.
Boeing mechanics joined the forward and aft fuselage sections with the wing and center section of the first 747-8 Intercontinental in Everett, Wash., this week.
Head-of-state and VVIP completions centers are awaiting two new Boeing widebodies–the 747-8 and the all-composite 787. Both aircraft, which have suffered from well-publicized program delays, are currently in flight test and customer deliveries should begin next year.
Boeing vice president Pat Shanahan has assumed oversight of the 747-8 program effective August 30, according to an internal memo to employees. The move results in the displacement of 747-8 vice president and general manager Mo Yahyavi and represents an effort to "re-energize" the flight-test and certification program.
After launching its new Sky Interior for the 737 airliner last year, Boeing has sold more than 37 customers on the new interior for more than 1,100 firm orders in the 737 backlog. The first customer to fly with the new interior will be low-cost airline flydubai, which is to take delivery of its first Sky Interior 737 in this year’s fourth quarter.
Boeing has begun assembling the fuselage of the first 747-8 Intercontinental at its factory in Everett, Wash., the company announced today. Mechanics loaded panels for the 31-foot, 8-inch long front section of the new airplane into the assembly tool.
Boeing has finished initial airworthiness testing on the 747-8 Freighter, the company announced today. The milestone allows test engineers to fly aboard future flights and the remaining pair of test airplanes to begin flight test.
Given Asia’s affinity for big airplanes and the fact that the region is emerging from the global recession as one of the few in the world that has experienced growth in airline traffic, it should come as little surprise that some of Boeing’s brightest prospects for the 747-8 reside there.
Boeing announced this morning that it completed the first engine runs for the 747-8 Freighter as the program inches closer to first flight, expected next month. “We are very pleased with the engines’ performance during this test,” said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 program. “The engines and all the systems performed as expected."
MagEagle UAV To Track Subs
Boeing’s Phantom Works is developing a version of its ScanEagle Compressed Carriage (SECC) unmanned air system that can track submarines using magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) equipment. Known as MagEagle Compressed Carriage (MECC), the UAS is envisioned to operate in conjunction with the company’s P-8 Poseidon maritime patroller.