Boeing Readies for Pre-Delivery Testing of Intercontinental

 - December 5, 2011, 11:04 AM
Intercontinental launch customer Lufthansa has ordered 20 of the newest 747. (Photo: Lufthansa)

Boeing and Lufthansa on December 6 plan to begin pre-delivery testing of the first 747-8 Intercontinental at the airline’s main operations base at Frankfurt Airport. Scheduled to last until December 9, the testing will help ensure a smooth integration of the newest 747 into Lufthansa’s operations, according to Boeing.

Plans call for Lufthansa maintenance and engineering personnel to rehearse ground-handling processes for the Intercontinental within the airline’s facilities and on its ramps at the airport. Meanwhile, crews will check how their ground-support equipment accommodates the airplane.

Boeing expects Intercontinental RC021 to arrive at Frankfurt Airport in the late afternoon Central European Time (CET) on December 6, after an approximately nine-hour flight from Seattle. Three Lufthansa pilots will join two Boeing pilots on the flight crew for the flight. During the Intercontinental’s flight-test program, Boeing used the airplane scheduled for the visit to test interior systems, such as heating and air conditioning, cabin lighting and systems and galleys.

Already painted in the Lufthansa livery basecoat of white with a gray belly and a blue tail fin, RC021 will become the first 747-8 Intercontinental to join Lufthansa’s fleet in the third quarter of next year. Plans call for the first 747-8 Intercontinental destined for Lufthansa—now undergoing final preparations for delivery at Boeing’s plant in Everett, Wash.—to arrive in Frankfurt early next year. Lufthansa has ordered a total of 20 Intercontinentals.