On Wednesday, December 14th, the FAA granted Boeing an amended type certificate for the 747-8 intercontinental. The 467-seat aircraft is now ready for sale and has also gained EASA approval. This is the third aircraft that Boeing has certified in 2011 and brings to a conclusion two years of test flying and modification. Seen here is the third 747-8i (msn: 37500) departing on a test flight in November. Testing concluded on October 31, but flights for the FAA continued after that. This aircraft will eventually be delivered to Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight in VIP configuration.
Lufthansa is the primary customer for the 747-8i, with twenty orders. Korean Air will receive five (as well as a couple of 747-8Fs, making it thus far the only customer for both variants). Nigeria’s Arik Air has placed an order for two more. Boeing is also believed to have commitments for up to twenty-four additional Intercontinentals, 15 possibly from Hong Kong Airlines, five from Air China, and four from Russian carrier Transaero. Several intercontinentals are on the flight line at Paine field and deliveries are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2012.
Photographer: Alex Kwanten