Boeing said on Nov.18 it had rolled out the first of the much delayed new version of its 747 freighter ahead of its maiden flight early next year. Boeing said it has "moved the first 747-8 Freighter out of the paint hangar in Everett, Washington state Tuesday night."
"The first freighter will begin preparing for the necessary tests leading up to first flight in early 2010," it said.
Boeing had said that the first delivery to Luxembourg-based Cargolux remained set for the final quarter of next year.
The Chicago-based company last month announced a one billion dollar charge against third-quarter earnings due to increased production costs and a difficult market for its 747-8 program. It posted an earnings loss of $1.56 billion stemming from hefty charges to modify the 747 jumbo jet as well as its new 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Boeing said last weeek that the 787 Dreamliner aircraft remained on track for its first test flight by the end of the year and that a reported problem had been "resolved." Boeing had announced on June 23 a fifth delay in the 787 Dreamliner program to fix a structural problem. Boeing launched the Dreamliner program in April 2004 and initially had planned to deliver the first airplane to Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways in the first half of 2008.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009