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BOEING’s 747-8 Freighter completed its certification flight test program, with the last two tests taking place on 3 August at Paine Field in Everett. Five test aircraft have flown 1,200 flights and 3,400 hours since the first flight on 8 February 2010. Assuming FAA certification follows as expected, delivery of the first 747-8F to launch customer CARGOLUX is scheduled for next month. Cargo Facts believes that about fifteen 747-8Fs have been completed, and that deliveries to many other customers will follow thick and fast after the ceremonial handover of the first unit takes place. For those interested, click here to link to Boeing’s video of the 747-8F flight test program.
In other 747-8F news, US-based lessor GECAS firmed an order for two units. GECAS had agreed to buy the two freighters, as well as eight 777-300ER passenger aircraft at the Paris Air Show. GECAS has not announced a customer for either of the two freighters. This brings BOEING’s firm order total for the 747-8F to 78. The orders are from carriers Atlas Air (12), Cargolux (13), Cathay Pacific (10), Korean Air (7), Nippon Cargo (14), and AirBridge Cargo (5); and lessors Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (15) and GECAS (2).