Boeing announced (30-Sep-2010) another delay to the B747-8 Freighter, pushing back first delivery from 1Q2011 to "mid-year 2011". Boeing is also taking steps to support the new schedule, including adding a fifth aircraft to the flight-test fleet. The new delivery schedule follows a thorough assessment of flight-test discoveries, which include a low-frequency vibration in certain flight conditions and an underperforming aileron actuator. While neither issue requires structural changes, they have led to disruptions to certification testing, which the programme was unable to offset within the prior schedule. The schedule change is not expected to have a material impact on Boeing's 2010 financial results. Boeing stated it has not made any changes to the schedule of the B747-8 Intercontinental, the passenger version of the aircraft, scheduled for first delivery in late 2011.[more]
Boeing Commercial Airplanes: "We understand the issues encountered in flight test and are working through the solutions. We recognise our customers are eager to add the B747-8 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 B747-8 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," Pat Shanahan, VP & General Manager, Airplane Programs. Source: Boeing, 30-Sep-2010.