B747-8F hit by further delays

AS exclusively revealed by Air Cargo News back in August, Boeing has now confirmed further delays for the 747-8 Freighter with first delivery now expected mid-year 2011. The current plan had called for the first deliveries in late 2010 and customers will again be queuing for compensation for yet another delay. To help meet the revised schedule, Boeing has announced it plans to add a fifth airplane to the flight-test fleet.
The new delivery schedule follows an assessment of the expected cumulative impact of significant problems discovered during the initial flight test programme, which include a low-frequency vibration in certain flight conditions and an underperforming aileron actuator. Although Boeing states that neither issue will require structural changes to the airplane, it admits that they have led to disruptions to certification testing and the failure to meet the latest delivery schedule.
“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 recognise 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.”

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