Boeing continues to make progress on the assembly of the 747-8 Freighter, as mechanics completed the installation of the new GEnx-2B engines on airplane No. 1 in final assembly at the factory in Everett, Wash.
"We are another step closer to bringing the 747-8 Freighter to market," said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 program. "This production milestone is a reflection of the strong working together relationship among Boeing, GE Aviation, Middle River Aircraft Systems and Spirit AeroSystems."
The GEnx-2B continues its progress through its engine certification testing. It recently completed the first phase of flight testing on GE's 747 flying testbed.
"The GEnx-2B engine has performed very well during more than 1,500 hours of ground certification tests and 100 hours of flight testing," said Tom Brisken, general manager of GE Aviation's GEnx program. "We look forward to watching the GEnx-powered 747-8 Freighter take its first flight, ushering in a new era of improved aircraft efficiency."
The GEnx-2B is based on the GEnx-1B engine launched with the 787 Dreamliner. The GEnx-2B engine has been designed for the 747-8 and rated at 66,500 pounds of thrust.
"The 747-8 and the GEnx-2B are a perfect match," said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Propulsion Systems. "The combination of these two technologies will provide our customers with improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions and noise as well as lower cost of ownership."
With the GEnx-2B engines, the 747-8 Freighter will be 17 percent more fuel efficient than the 747-400 Freighter, resulting in a 17-percent reduction in carbon emissions. It also will have a noise footprint that is 30 percent smaller than its predecessor, making it a QC2-compliant airplane on both departure and arrival.
The 747-8 Freighter is expected to make its first flight in the fourth quarter of this year, with first delivery scheduled for the third quarter of 2010. Boeing has secured 78 orders from leading cargo operators for the new 747-8 Freighter. Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air all have placed firm orders for the airplane.