Boeing delivered the first VIP version of its new 747-8 Intercontinental to the Qatar Amiri Flight on February 28.
BOEING CELEBRATED a major achievement on February 28 in Everett, Washington, in the effort to create a Queen of the Skies for the 21st Century, delivering the first 747-8 Intercontinental VIP aircraft to an undisclosed customer. The aircraft, which was delivered with a minimal interior, will enter service in 2014 after its VIP interior is installed. Although officially the customer has not been revealed, the aircraft, 747-8KB A7-HHE (c/n 37544), is destined for the Qatar Amiri Flight. The aircraft had made its maiden flight from Paine Field, Everett, on January 30 and was officially handed over on February 27 before leaving on delivery the next day.
“This is a great day for Boeing,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 747 is the most iconic airplane in the world and I know customers are going to love what we’ve done to enhance its performance. The Intercontinental is fast, efficient and quiet, offering real savings and a great flying experience. And I believe it’s one of the most beautiful airplanes in the sky.”
The VIP version of the 747-8 Intercontinental provides a cabin with 4,786 square feet (444.6 square metres). This 747-8 VIP will include Greenpoint Technologies’ Aeroloft, located above the main cabin between the upper deck and tail of the 747-8 VIP, giving the aircraft 393 square feet (36.5 square metres) of additional cabin space. The Aeroloft will be installed by Boeing Global Transport & Executive Systems (GTES) in Wichita, Kansas.
With Aeroloft, the VIP-configured 747-8 offers a total of 5,179 square feet (481.1 square metres) of cabin space, can carry 100 passengers and has a range of about 8,840nm (16,372 km). Boeing claims that it provides double-digit improvements in fuel burn and emissions over the 747-400, and is 30% quieter. With a normal cruise speed of Mach 0.86, it is the fastest large commercial jet.
The 747-8 VIP jet is the only large aircraft in its class that fits today’s airport infrastructure, giving its owners the flexibility to fly to more destinations. Building on the current 747’s capability to fly into most airports worldwide, the 747-8 VIP uses the same pilot type ratings, services and most ground support equipment. To date, undisclosed customers have ordered nine 747-8 VIP aircraft.