This trip report is about my recent flight FRA-IAD on Lufthansa's new B747-8i. D-ABYA is the first and so far only delivered Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental.
On my way to Memphis and San Francisco, I specifically chose Washington D.C. for a stopover, as I've never been there and because I wanted to take a ride on the new Queen of the Skies, the Boeing 747-8i. Flights into IAD are very expensive, so I've slashed my Miles & More account by 60k miles to save about 1000 bucks—a very good deal!
Unfortunately, LH 77 inbound from DUS was a bit delayed, and so was the landing in FRA after an uneventful hop on an old B737-400 (they are scheduled to leave Lufty's fleet soon). After being bussed to concourse A, it was a long run to catch the connecting flight to Washington which was waiting at concourse C.
Concourse C is used by Lufthansa mostly for flights with their A380 and (obviously) B747-8i. This was a bit of a bummer, as all gates are outfitted with triple jet bridges to accomodate the A380, so there was no way to take a decent picture of D-ABYA in FRA.
I was one of the first passangers to board, and the aircraft (delivered just about one month ago) was still smelling new and presented itself in impeccable condition. Boarding was quick and efficient, while lots of cargo containers (including a pallet with 3 dog boxes, one of them housing a Husky!) were loaded on the starboard side. The flight was pretty much sold out in Economy and Business Class, as Washington D.C. is a high-yield destination for any foreign airline.
Engine spinup was amazingly quiet on the upper deck, at least compared to the old B747-400 or any A330/A340 (I don't log any flight on an A380 so far). The APU of a Boeing 747 can draw enough air to spin up two engines at once, which is also the standard procedure. Subsequently, it was a rather bumpy climb out of FRA's runway 07R, which I've experienced on any B747 flight I've been on so far. I assume the rather steep hull compared to other widebodies makes the Jumbo Jet very prone to wind shear.
The flight itself was a great trip, but rather uneventful on track C, with landfall over Labrador (RESNO). The food was excellent as always, with the “Chicken Memphis” catching my eyes as I'll head there in a few days (it refers to a hot bell pepper sauce if you ask).
About 2 hours later, we were passing New York City in the West, and after a 180° turn we were on short finals for IAD's runway 01R.
To wrap it up, I really like the new B747-8i, and would like to thank Cpt. Maas and his entire crew for this great flight. Now it's 3 days off in the nation's capital, including a visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.