Boeing has confirmed the planned delivery of the first 747-8 Freighter has slipped from the last quarter of this year to mid 2011.
After hinting at July’s Farnborough Airshow there may be a slip into 2011, Boeing announced the “schedule change” on September 30, attributing it to “recent flight-test discoveries” which include a low-frequency vibration in flight and an “underperforming” aileron actuator. The delay follows two previous schedule adjustments to the program due to technical and supplier issues.
“We understand the issues encountered in flight test and are working through the solutions,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ vice president and general manager, Airplane Programs, Pat Shanahan said in a statement. “We recognise our customers are eager to add the 747-8 Freighter to their fleets, and we understand and regret any impact this schedule change may have on their plans to begin service with the airplane. With that said, the 747-8 Freighter is demonstrating the capabilities our customers need to be successful and we are confident in the value it will bring them upon certification and delivery next year.”
In an effort to meet the new schedule, a fifth 747-8F will be added to the flight test fleet which is based at Moses lake in western Washington state and at Victorville in southern California.