Boeing has completed FAA certification of its 747-8 program, with approval for the Intercontinental as the passenger version. The FAA granted the freighter certification in August; since then eight have been delivered.

The initial 747-8I will be flown to an unidentified private buyer early next year as a green aircraft, meaning it is flight worthy but must still undergo extensive customization, which will be done by a third party provider.

Within a few weeks, Boeing expects to deliver RC022—line number 1443 for the entire 747 program—to Lufthansa. That aircraft, which is now in change incorporation at the factory in Everett, Wash., will be the first of the 467-seat jets to carry passengers.

Boeing is building 747-8s at a 1.5 per month rate in Everett and expects to boost production to two per month next spring.

Aside from its first two Intercontinentals and the eight freighters already delivered, it has four airplanes at its San Antonio, Texas, facility that were part of the original flight test program. They are undergoing change incorporation to prepare them for delivery to customers. Another 14, mostly freighters, are awaiting delivery at Everett.

The original test aircraft, RC001, known as “Big Red” for its bright red/orange livery, remains in flight test as part of Boeing’s ongoing flight test improvement program.

The RC022 747-8I flight test aircraft that was flown to Frankfurt last week for demonstrations with Lufthansa is now headed to San Antonio for change incorporation. It will be the second Intercontinental delivered to Lufthansa.