Air China became the third airline to commit to the passenger version of the Boeing 747-8 since the launch of the program in 2005 with the signature of an “agreement” covering five 747-8 Intercontinentals. The agreement remains contingent on Chinese government approval, at which time Boeing will post the contract in its firm order book.
At Boeing’s colossal plant in Everett, Wash., the February 13 gathering of some 10,000 employees, government officials and customer, partner and supplier reps served not only as a chance to celebrate a long-overdue “unveiling” of the 747-8 Intercontinental, but as a reminder of a painful legacy left by top management a decade or more ago.
Boeing plans to fly the 747-8 Intercontinental for the first time next month, in time for certification and initial deliveries in the fourth quarter.
Swiss aircraft services company Jet Aviation claims to have won the first contract for cabin completion of Boeing’s new 747-8. The Basel-based center’s in-house interior design studio was retained to design the cabin interior.
Amac Aerospace Switzerland has expanded its maintenance and completion facility at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. The new hangar and production facility will allow the MRO to maintain and do completions on widebody aircraft. The 90,400-sq-ft hangar can accommodate a Boeing 747-8i, Airbus A330 and BBJ/A320 simultaneously and is large enough to accommodate an Airbus A380.
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.