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02/11/2014 | Lufthansa jumbo boasts lower noise emissions and fuel burn

Gently upswept wings, high-tech wingtips, the saw-tooth pattern on the trailing edges of the jet engine nozzles and the characteristic “hump” at the front of the fuselage – as every Lufthansa aficionado knows, these are the distinguishing features of the Boeing 747-8. At first sight, however, it is not immediately apparent that this wide-bodied aircraft is also the “Queen of the Skies” in terms of noise emissions and fuel efficiency. The 747-8, which entered service with Lufthansa on 1 June 2012, incorporates countless innovations that are designed to make flying even more environmentally compatible and, above all, quieter.

The tenth aircraft of this type was delivered to Lufthansa in Frankfurt on 7 February. It generates a 30 per cent smaller noise footprint than the 747-400, and its engine noise levels are 15.6 decibels below the stringent Chapter 4 standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The Lufthansa 747-8 is fitted with state-of-the-art GEnx-2B67 engines. These not only operate extremely efficiently but also deliver significant reductions in aircraft noise during take-off and landing, which eases the burden on local communities in the vicinity of airports. 

But that is not all. New aluminium alloys and composite materials, which are lighter in weight and more durable than the materials previously used in aircraft construction, were incorporated into the 747-8. The redesigned wings with their state-of-the art profile and raked wingtips improve aerodynamics and thus save fuel. To put it in numbers: the 747-8 is 15 per cent more fuel efficient than its predecessor model, the 747-400, which translates to 15 per cent less CO2. Altogether, in terms of its capacity, range and operating costs, the new jumbo is a very economical aircraft. Customers will also be thrilled to discover a host of innovations aboard the 747-8. In Business Class, for example, Lufthansa invites its passengers to enjoy the comforts of the completely redesigned cabin. 

The current fleet renewal programme being undertaken by the Lufthansa Group airlines will lead to steady improvements in environmental compatibility. The latest order, placed in September 2013, represents an investment of 14 billion euros at list prices, making it the largest single private-sector investment in the history of German industry. 

Over the next decade or so, 59 ultra-modern aircraft – 34 Boeing 777-9Xs and 25 Airbus A350-900s – will be added to Lufthansa Group’s long-range fleet. Delivery of the new aircraft is scheduled to begin in 2016. 


Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V.

econsense is an association of leading, globally active companies and organisations of German business specializing in the area of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Founded in 2000 on the initiative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the goal of econsense is to provide a dialogue platform and think tank, with the dual objectives of advancing sustainable development in business and assuming social responsibility.