Boeing’s latest plane – the 747-8I jumbo jet – will fly its first passengers next month.
The souped-up jumbo jet – a stretch version of the 747-400– was delivered to Lufthansa this week.
Lufthansa passengers will be the first to fly the $300m (£185m) plane on June 1 from Frankfurt to Washington Dulles International Airport.
Lufthansa is using the opportunity in the spotlight to launch its all new business class on the 747-8, which will sport its new ‘angled’ lie-flat seats on board.
Boeing’s revamped version of the jumbo jet – along with other next-generation planes such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380 – has been designed with improved environmental performance in mind. Therefore airlines, rather than passengers will feel the most benefits.
Boeing claims that the latest ‘dash 8’ version is quieter than the 747-400, produces less emissions and burns 11 percent less fuel per passenger than Airbus’s A380 – which will help airlines to cut their fuel bills and carbon footprint.
The plane is also 18 feet longer and flies further with improved aerodynamics compared to any previous 747, due to features such as its new engines and raked wingtips.
The trademark ‘hump’ at the front of the jumbo’s fuselage remains, but is longer on the 747-8, giving airlines flexibility to mix up the furniture in the upper deck and create more space for premium passengers.
The 747-8 is Boeing’s biggest passenger jet – built to seat up to 467 passengers: 51 more seats than the previous version. Airlines, however choose how they kit out their cabins.
Lufthansa has chosen a 362 seat layout: eight in First, 92 in Business and 262 in Economy Class.
Passenger benefits will be largely cosmetic – at least on the main lower deck. Subtle changes include slightly larger windows and overhead storage and new mood lighting in the cabin.
Legroom wise, there is will no change in Lufthansa’s economy cabins on the 747-8, which will offer 31″ inches of legroom: the minimum offered by ‘traditional’ carriers.
The 747-8 will also roar a little less down the runway as the plane is 30 percent quieter than earlier version, Boeing says.
Watch the video of what the experience will be like inside Lufthansa’s new 747-8 Intercontinental: