It’s been a long journey for the 747-8 Freighter, but on 19 August the US Federal Aviation Authority, and the European Aviation Safety Agency granted their certifications, and Boeing is now making final preparations for delivery to launch customer Cargolux. (To see the hi-res version of the photo at right, which shows completed 747-8Fs lined up and awaiting their turn in the paintshop, in our Photo section, click here.)
Boeing first announced the program in late 2005, and launch orders quickly followed from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines. Design and production turned out to be more complicated than a simple stretch of the manufacturer’s 747-400 and first flight did not take place until February 2010. But now, with the flight test program completed, and FAA and EASA certification in hand, Boeing is finally about to hand over the first unit. No announcement has been made regarding the exact date, but the company has made it clear that it will take place in September.
- The FAA granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate (ATC) and an Amended Production Certificate for the 747-8 Freighter, while the EASA also granted the company an ATC for the airplane.
- The freighter will offer 34 main-deck pallet positions with a maximum payload of about 135 tonnes. Range with max payload is about 4,400 nm.
- Boeing has 78 orders for the 747-8F, as follows: Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (12), Cargolux (13) Cathay Pacific (10), Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (15 — some of which will go to Emirates), GECAS (2 — no announced customer), Korean Air (7), Nippon Cargo Airlines (14), and Volga-Dnepr Group (5, for AirBridge Cargo).