Boeing has received expanded type inspection authorisation (TIA) from the FAA for the 747-8 Freighter, which allows for FAA personnel to take part in testing as part of its formal type certification process, while assembly work on the fuselage of the first Intercontinental has started.
Boeing’s vice president and general manager for the 747 program Mo Yahyavi said that the granting of the expanded TIA was a major step in the aircraft’s development program. “The airplane is performing well in the tests,” he added. “We have demonstrated the airplane’s readiness to move onto the next stage in the flight test program through tests at a variety of speeds, altitudes and configurations.”
Meanwhile, Boeing announced on June 14 that it has started fuselage assembly on the first 747-8 Intercontinental. Mechanics have loaded panels for the 9.6m long front section of the aircraft into an assembly tool as part of the construction of Section 41 of the fuselage, which comprises most of the nose area. The first Intercontinental is expected to be delivered to launch customer Lufthansa in late 2011, while the first Freighter should be delivered to Cargolux by the end of this year.