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Boeing Completes Firm Configuration of 747-8 Freighter

Travel News Asia Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Boeing has completed firm configuration of the 747-8 Freighter airplane's design. Boeing achieved this milestone after a year of collaboration with airline customers and suppliers to determine the optimal configuration.

By completing firm configuration, Boeing has completed the major trade-studies needed to finalize the airplane's performance capability. This allows Boeing and its suppliers to begin detailed design of parts, assemblies and other systems for the 747-8 Freighter. Once completed, the detailed designs will then be released to Boeing suppliers and factories to begin production of the airplane.

We designed the 747-8 Freighter to improve upon the 747 family's strong leadership in the air cargo market, said Dan Mooney, 747/747-8 Program vice president. The 747-8 is designed to deliver 14% lower ton-mile costs than the 747-400 Freighter. In fact, the 747-8 Freighter will enjoy the lowest ton-mile costs of any freighter, giving operators unmatched profit potential.

The 747-8 Freighter will be longer than the 747-400F by 5.6 meters (18.3 feet) and enjoy a maximum structural payload capability of 140 metric tonnes (154 tons) with a range of 8,288 kilometers (4,475 nmi). It also will feature16% more revenue cargo volume than its predecessor. The additional 121 cubic meters (4,225 cubic feet) of volume means the airplane can accommodate four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets.

This milestone is a tribute to the efforts of the 747-8 team, the launch customers and our suppliers, said Corky Townsend, 747 Program chief project engineer. With November marking the one-year anniversary, the 747-8 Program has made significant progress in its development.

During the program's first year, Boeing completed the bridge from the 747-400 to the 747-8 by garnering 16 orders for 747-400 Freighters and 747-400 ER Freighters. Boeing also secured orders for 44 747-8 Freighters and three 747-8 Intercontinentals. In addition, the program completed preliminary design for the 747-8 Freighter and two rounds of wind-tunnel testing.

The 747-8 Program, which includes the 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airplane and the 747-8 Freighter, was launched in November 2005 by Cargolux Airlines and Nippon Cargo Airlines. Boeing will deliver the first 747-8 Freighter in Cargolux in late 2009.

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