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New Boeing 747-8 Freighter certified for entry into service

Boeing (NYSE: BA) received U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification Friday for the new 747-8 Freighter, passing two of the final landmarks on the airplane's journey to entry into service. 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.

With these certificates, the program is in the final stages of preparing to deliver the first 747-8 Freighter to launch customer Cargolux in early September.

"This is such a great day for everyone on the 747 team," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Over the last several years, this team has overcome challenge after challenge. Through their hard work and dedication, they have ensured that the 747, the Queen of the Skies, will fly for decades to come."

The drive to certify the 747-8 Freighter was a team effort, said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager, 747 Program. "This is a day to express our profound thanks to everyone at Boeing and at our suppliers who played a part in designing, building and testing this airplane," she said. "It's a day to thank our colleagues at the FAA and EASA for all of their hard work. And it's a day to appreciate our customers for their commitment to the program."

The Amended Type Certificate acknowledges that the FAA and EASA have certified that the design of the 747-8 Freighter is compliant with all aviation regulatory requirements and will produce a safe and reliable airplane. The airplane logged more than 3,400 hours of flight testing and many thousands more of ground, part, component, materials and other testing on the road to certification.

The Amended Production Certificate shows the FAA has validated that the Boeing 747 production system can reliably produce airplanes that will conform to the airplane's design. EASA accepts FAA oversight of Boeing production certificates as sufficient for its regulations, as FAA accepts EASA oversight of European manufacturers' production certificates.

The 747-8 Freighter is the new high-capacity 747 that will give cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. It is 250 feet, 2 inches (76.3 m) long, which is 18 feet and 4 inches (5.6 m) longer than the 747-400 Freighter. The stretch provides customers with 16 percent more revenue cargo volume compared to its predecessor. That translates to four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets. The 747-8 Freighters will be powered with GE's GEnx-2B engines.

Press release issued by Boeing Commercial Airplanes on August 19, 2011


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