I have just finished the design for my A380 First Flight covers – to be flown (I hope) Singapore Paris on the inaugural SQ A380 between those cities on June 1st, SQ 334. Preview here – missing stamp and on quality envelope – what do you think??? proof-a380-sin-cdg-ffc

Anyway I was thinking, what next? Well an inaugural 747-8 flight would be interesting. An aircraft not heard much about maybe?

So to digress to pure aviation rather than aerophilately tonight, here is some trivia for you. (Courtesy of Boeing with my editorial changes to what they wrote)

The 747-8 will build on the current 747’s capability to fly into most airports worldwide, using the same pilot type ratings, services and most ground support equipment. With a range of 14,815 km the 747-8I (Intercontinental) will connect nearly any major city pair in the world.

The 747-8 will provide new revenue opportunities that will allow airlines to maximize profits. For example, the passenger airplane will accommodate 467 passengers in a typical three-class configuration and will offer 26 percent more cargo volume. (Now remember this compares to the A380 which is flying 450 to 470 pax in current configurations by QF, SQ and Emirates).

The 747-8 will offer a new benchmark in fuel efficiency and noise reduction, allowing airlines to achieve lower fuel costs. The 747-8I is reported to be 16 percent more fuel efficient than the 747-400, and, 11 percent more fuel efficient than the A380.

It has been nearly 40 years since the first 747 flew, for Pan Am in 1970 (and a note of nostalgia here – I was working at Manchester airport when it first arrived there …… awesome to see it I can tell you) and it will be 2011 before the 747-8I flies, (based on current forecasts, it being a year behind schedule). Lots of time to plan for it. I’ll watch as events unfold but will stay with the A380 for just a bit longer 🙂