The Chart:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

571 lookin' good.

Thanks to Russell Hill. Also Planephotoman.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cargolux delays, Empty slot concern

Cargolux is trying to delay delivery of their 747-8Fs. They still plan on taking two or three more this year.

Boeing is worried they can't fill production slots coming up. You can see them as unclaimed in the chart. Customers are standing by their orders, but they just don't want their planes that quick.

More bleak news. It seems 747s just can't catch any breaks lately.

Paine Field has been boring on the test/delivery flight front lately.

I'll be taking two trips in the next month. One is a trip from Los Angeles to Barcelona via Amsterdam, which will be half vacation and half work at the Mobile World Congress. I'll be flying a KLM MD11, after connecting to San Franciso, non stop to Amsterdam, and I'm excited about that. I went out of my way to book this plane. On the way back I'll be having my first trip on an A380 (Air France) into L.A, and that should also be interesting. While over there I have a commute in a Swiss International Avro RJ100, which is another exciting first for me.

Why didn't I take Lufthansa out of LAX to try out a 747-8? Well, I don't have a good excuse other than my company budgeted me for cattle and the KLM ticket was cheaper. I'll admit I kind of wanted to get a ride in on an MD11 too, before they all retire. I'll hopefully have plenty of opportunities to fly in a 747-8 in the coming years.

Shortly after that I'll be heading to Korea in a 747-400 (United) for a week. At least it's a 747!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Line 1416 Rumor

A little bird says yet to be used 747-400 line 1416 will be in Evergreen's hands within a month. Take that as you will.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

AirBridgeCargo news

Line 1471 (RC581) N854GT for Atlas went on a first flight today. It didn't show up on flight aware but it was caught on camera.

There's an article here that goes over everything, but I'll sum it up.

Volga Dnepr, parent company to AirBridgeCargo, who currently operates three 747-8Fs and has two more on order (one of which is ready for delivery), is not doing well. They've lost a lot of money, and are trying to stop the bleeding.

They're not entirely happy with the three 747-8Fs they have, saying they have range issues with the polar routes they want to fly them on. They're currently negotiating with Boeing for compensation and to delay the delivery of the final two frames until they can return some older 747s they have on lease, which should be towards the end of the year. This means line 1463 will probably be parked in the desert for a spell.

I don't really understand their range issue complaints. The 747-8F has a much longer range than most other freighters, definitely much longer than the Antonov AN-124 that Volga Dnepr is so enamored with (so much so that they're planning on restarting the AN-124 production line themselves by 2017). The AN-124 is a cool plane, and it can lift a lot of cargo, but it can't fly nearly the distance of a 747-8F without refueling. Of course, I'm stating all of this with the information I have access to, which might not be entirely accurate in the real world. I imagine Volga Dnepr wouldn't be making these claims if there wasn't some truth to them.

There's talk on of line 1469 for NCA also being parked in the desert for a while. How sad; two brand new 747-8Fs languishing alongside another unused airframe, 747-400 line 1416, which is still waiting for a first operator.