The Boeing 747-8, destined to be a VIP transport for the Egyptian government, has emerged from the paintshop at Shannon, Ireland, and has taken its first flight in its new colors to Hamburg in Germany. The aircraft had arrived in Ireland on August 26th, so it has taken expert airplane painters IAC just 26 days to repaint this mega aircraft – not bad going.

Taking off at just after 13:00 yesterday, the 747 was in the air for an hour and 40 minutes before it touched down at Hamburg. It will receive its final touches at Lufthansa Technik over the coming days, but is ultimately almost ready for delivery to the Egyptian government.

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Simple Flying obtained footage of the 747 in all its glory taxiing out of Shannon yesterday. You have to admit, the governmental livery looks good on this giant jumbo, as you can see below:

A thoughtful governmental livery

The aircraft has retained its mostly-white color scheme, but there has been a gray belly added to the fuselage. Separating the two colors are twin stripes running nose to tail in black and red. Together with the white space in between, this forms the colors of the Egyptian flag right along the side of the aircraft.

The tailfin has the same red, white and black design, with a slight offset to each end of the stripe creating a sense of speed. In between the two tail stripes is the Egyptian coat of arms, also known as the Republican Eagle or Egyptian Golden Eagle, holding the name of the state in its talons written in Kufic script.

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The Egyptian coat of arms can be seen on the tailfin. Photo: Supplied

The Eagle also makes an appearance on the side of the airplane, just below the upper door. Here, we can see the gold crest of the Egyptian cabinet, members of whom will likely be regular guests onboard the 747, including Mostafa Madbouly, the present Prime Minister of Egypt.

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The crest of the Egyptian cabinet can be seen just below the top door. Photo: Supplied

Emblazoned along the side are the words ‘Arab Republic of Egypt’, first in Arabic and then in English. The engines and lower wings continue the grey of the belly, as does the underside of the horizontal stabilizers and the landing gear components.

Ready for its new life

The aircraft, now registered SU-EGY, was originally built back in 2015, taking its first flight from Paine Field on April 8th that year. It had been ordered by Lufthansa, but Boeing requested it stay in the States to be used as a test aircraft and demonstrator. As such, it has spent most of its life under registration N282BA.

After a few test flights, it was parked in Pinal Airpark for a couple of years. It returned to Paine Field in 2017 for more test flights, but in 2018, was sent to Victorville for storage. Despite languishing in the desert for several years, in the fall of 2021, it returned to Paine Field and was given its new registration of SU-EGY.

Ferried to Hamburg, Germany, for the VIP cabin outfitting by Lufthansa Technik, the like-new yet five-year-old jumbo spent nine months in the workshop, before heading out to Shannon for IAC to take care of the exterior. Now, it’s just in need of the final touches ahead of delivery to Egypt.


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