1,500 747s

Lufthansa and the 1500th 747

Forty five years (and a few months) after the first flight of the , marked a milestone for the program on Saturday when took delivery of #1,500. The German carrier was the launch customer for the Intercontinental, which we first brought to you on Cargo Facts back in February of 2012. The new aircraft (D-ABYP, msn: 37839) is ’s 14th of the type.  In recognition of the event, the pilots on board the aircraft did a low pass at about 40 meters over runway 16L at , during which the photo above was taken.

The majority of orders for the have come on the freighter side, but five carriers have committed to the i – (with 13 aircraft already delivered), Air China, Korean Air, Transaero, and Arik Air of Nigeria. Air China’s first i has been rolled out but has yet to be painted. The first aircraft for Korean Air is expected later this year. The -8i has also seen several VIP/Business jet customers. With competition from ’s own 777-300ER (and upcoming 777-X) beneath it and the Airbus above it, the i is in an appreciably narrower niche than its predecessors.  Interestingly, two of the i customers are also operators ( and Korean Air) and one more has the on order (Transaero) as well.

The delivery of #1,500 is just the latest milestone for the long-lived program, coming…

– three years after the first delivery of (msn: 35806) – a freighter for Cargolux;

– 21 years after the delivery of #1,000 (msn: 27068), originally delivered as a passenger plane to Singapore Airlines but now flying with Southern Air as a -400BCF;

– 33 years after the delivery of #500 (msn: 22381) – a -200B delivered to SAS as a Combi which later became a freighter for UPS;

– 44.5 years after the first delivery of a (msn: 19640, the fourth built), to Pan Am on December 12, 1969. Much later, this aircraft flew as a converted freighter for Evergreen.

was also the launch customer for the original -200 Freighter (msn: 20373) built in 1971 and delivered on March 9, 1972 after certification.

© Photographer: Alex Kwanten

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