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Boeing completes 50-percent design release for the 747-8 freighter

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has completed 50 percent of the design releases for the new 747-8 Freighter. The program has released the 747-8 Freighter's detailed designs to Boeing factories and its suppliers in order to begin building parts, assemblies and tools for the new cargo airplane.

"This design milestone is a tribute to efforts of the 747-8 team, our customers and suppliers," said Ross R. Bogue, vice president and general manager, 747 program and Everett site. "We are now focused on completing the remaining design work and delivering a 747-8 Freighter that increases the 747 family's leadership in the growing cargo market."

The 747-8 Freighter, which launched in November 2005, is scheduled to start delivering in late 2009 to launch customers Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines.

The airplane will be longer than the 747-400 Freighter by 18.3 ft (5.6 m) and enjoy a maximum structural payload capability of 154 tons (140 metric tonnes) with a range of more than 4,420 nmi (8,185 km). It will offer 16 percent more revenue cargo volume than its predecessor, allowing the airplane to accommodate four more main-deck pallets and three more lower-hold pallets. Powered by GEnx engines, the 747-8 Freighter will be 17 percent more fuel efficient than the 747-400 Freighter and 30 percent quieter.

"The 747-8 Freighter builds upon the 747-400 Freighter's legendary efficiency," said Bogue. "It will provide nearly equivalent trip costs and 16 percent lower ton-mile costs than its predecessor. The 747-8 Freighter will deliver the lowest ton-mile costs of any freighter, giving cargo operators unmatched profit potential."

In addition to the airplane's efficiencies, the 747-8 Freighter will complement the new 777 Freighter with the ability to transfer cargo directly between the two airplanes. The main-deck cargo doors on both airplanes are sized to accommodate 10-foot-high (three-meter) pallets for easy interlining.

The efficiencies offered by the 747-8 Freighter are evident in the strong market demand for the airplane. To date, Boeing has secured 78 orders for the new, efficient 747-8 Freighter from 10 leading cargo operators.

Press release issued by Boeing Commercial Airplanes on March 6, 2008


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