EVERETT: Boeing today announced a schedule change for the 747-8 Freighter with first delivery now expected mid-year 2011. The company also announced steps it is taking to support the new schedule, including adding a fifth airplane to the flight-test fleet.
The company previously indicated that, following recent flight-test discoveries, there was a high probability the first 747-8 Freighter delivery would move into 2011. The new delivery schedule follows a thorough assessment of the expected cumulative impact of these discoveries, which include a low-frequency vibration in certain flight conditions and an underperforming aileron actuator.
While neither issue requires structural changes to the airplane, they have led to disruptions to certification testing, which the program was unable to offset within the prior schedule.
This schedule change is not expected to have a material impact on Boeing’s 2010 financial results.
“We understand the issues encountered in flight test and are working through the solutions,” said Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager, Airplane Programs, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We recognize 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.”