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Thursday, June 25, 2015

747-8I Trip Report

Back in late February I had to fly to Barcelona, so I seized the opportunity to fly on the 747-8I with Lufthansa. I've flown in a number of 747s before but this was my first trip in the 8I.

The route of the flight was Carlsbad (KCRQ) - Los Angeles (KLAX) - Frankfurt (EDDF) - Barcelona (LEBL). The equipment was:
  • KCRQ-KLAX: Skywest/United Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia (N584SW there, N221SW back)
  • KLAX-EDDF: Lufthansa Boeing 747-8I  (D-ABYI there, D-ABYL back)
  • EDDF-LEBL: Lufthansa Airbus A321-200 (D-AISP there, D-AIDL back)
The Embraer, by the way, was a fun little twenty minute flight. The greatest part of this was the service from a quiet airport ten minutes from my house, with all the perks of connecting. Although, actually connecting at LAX from terminal 8 to the Tom Brady International terminal is extremely inconvenient. It's a looooooooong walk and there's no transportation (other than a $20 taxi around the loop). At least I didn't have to worry about my luggage.

The 747-8I is a 747 through and through. I sat in premium economy, which is nice. It's really what all standard economy seating should be; enough room to be comfortable and retain a little dignity. Lufthansa's interiors are immaculate and modern. The plane itself vibrated a bit on takeoff both times, but other than that was a smooth ride. Very 747 like. Feels like a flying tank. Nothing feels 'widebody' to me like a 747. You can feel the inertia absorb turbulence, turning it into more of a comfortable rumble rather than a disconcerting rattle. The engines are amazingly quiet. I almost missed the racket you usually hear on takeoff. Now it's more of just a calm, firm push back into your seat.

I've talked about it before, but I went into the cabin and talked to the pilot and copilot. You can read about his comments here.

Some pictures, and then full videos of takeoff and descent below:

Brasilia at Carlsbad
Flight to Germany. They must have known I was coming.
Frankfurt is still a 747 haven.
D-ABYH had an issue, so they wheeled her off. She flew a different route later in the day.
D-ABYL rolls in to save the day.
747-8I cockpit
Here is video I took of the departure and the landing coming back from Frankfurt: 

I also captured a bit of the return trip departure and arrival on the Brasilia coming home from Los Angeles:



    1 more for atlas

  2. Looks like Delta might be forced to retire one 747-400 (tail No. N664US) early due to hail damage, and they pulled a spare 747-400 (N671US) from the boneyard to replace it for now. Photos show extensive damage to nose cone and wings, and given Delta's plan to retire 747's in 2017, this aircraft is unlikely to be repaired to return to service.

    Hail pummels Delta 747 over China; NWA's "Spirit of Beijing" may face scrapyard