“It is very rewarding to see this airplane transition to the flight test phase,” said Mo Yahyavi, 747 program vice president and general manager. “Our employees, suppliers and customers have put a lot of work into making the 747-8 Freighter a reality.”
As with the 787, the 747-8 program has faced a number of delays, some of which have involved difficulty integrating some of the aircraft’s new systems and technologies with the 1960s era 747 fuselage. Nevertheless, Boeing expects the aircraft to make its first flight in early 2010, with delivery due in the fourth quarter of the same year.
Boeing has secured 105 orders for the 747-8, 78 of which are orders for the new freighter. Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air all have placed orders for the 747-8 Freighter.