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Boeing 747-8 Freighter

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Wednesday November 1, 2006

Boeing said yesterday that it has settled on the firm configuration of the 747-8 freighter and is aiming to deliver the first of the type to Cargolux in the second half of 2009. The 747-8F will be longer than the dash 400F by 5.6 m. (18.3 ft.) with a maximum structural payload capability of 140 metric tonnes (154 tons) and a range of 8,288 km. (4,475 nm.). It will feature16% more revenue cargo volume than the dash 400F, 14% lower operating cost per ton mile and 17% less fuel burn, the company said.


An extra three pallets below, and four pallets more up top! Now there is something the cargo companies must be liking! $$ Kaching kaching $$



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Boeing will deliver the first 747-8 freighter to launch customer Cargolux on 19 September, followed by delivery of the second aircraft to the cargo carrier two days later on 21 September.


Cargolux will fly its first 747-8F on the morning of 19 September and put it into revenue service after the delivery at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. The airline has 13 747-8Fs on order.


"It's so exciting to be able to deliver two of these amazing airplanes to Cargolux in one week," said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager of the 747 programme. "Cargolux has been a great partner for many years, and we so appreciate its deep commitment to this program."


Cargolux's president and CEO Frank Reimen said: "We were pioneering the cargo industry when we put the first 747-400 freighter into revenue service in 1993. This is what we do once again with the 747-8 freighter, which is ultimately a testimony of our good and long-standing partnership with Boeing."



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What an elegant freighter ... I understand Hong Kong will be Cargolux's first B747-8F destination ... hope the rest of us in Asia (SIN and KUL) get to see and photograph her soon. I am even more keen to see CX Cargo's first B747-8F in the special livery.


Within the next six months, we will have the opportunity to chase and photograph B747-8Fs and B787 DreamLiners! Understand that JAL's B787s will be coming to SIN, its first international B787 destination before it is deployed on the NRT-BOS route later in 2012.


Interesting times ahead for spotting. Perhaps some of these will also appear at the Singapore Airshow 2012 in February.


KC Sim

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Cargolux will not take 747-8F delivery over contract wrangle


Cargolux has informed Boeing it will not take delivery of its first 747-8 freighter on Monday as planned, due to a contractual tussle, the airframer confirms.


The Luxembourg-based freight operator is due to receive its first of 13 General Electric GEnx-powered 747-8Fs during the high-profile ceremony at Boeing's Everett plant near Seattle on 19 September. However, Flightglobal has learnt from well-placed industry sources that, in a last minute wrangle over "unresolved issues", Cargolux is withdrawing its personnel from Boeing's plant and has informed the airframer that it will not accept delivery of the aircraft. The airline had been due to take its second 747-8F two days later, on 21 September.


Boeing originally planned to deliver the first 747-8F two years ago, but a series of delays have hampered the programme, including a longer than expected flight test effort and supply chain issues. Development has been blighted by a performance shortfall due to engine and weight issues which has riled customers.


Boeing declined to comment on the nature of the contractual dispute.


To address the 747-8F's performance deficit, Boeing and GE have been working on a series of performance improvement packages which they plan to progressivey incorporate into the aircraft. The Cargolux row is understood to centre on the 747-8F's non-compliance with contractual guarantees, suggesting that it is connected in some way to the performance issues.


For the GEnx-2B67 engines that exclusively power the 747-8, GE and Being are developing its Performance Improvement Package 2 (PIP2) which features aerodynamic improvements to the high pressure compressor (HPC), which has been in ground-testing since December 2010.


Earlier this year GE expected to flight-test the changes in the second half of 2011. Certification of these changes is likely in the first quarter of 2012, followed by entry into service in late 2012, says GE.


Further, Boeing is currently developing a package of improvements for the 747-8 including a 2012 update to the flight management computer for precision approach, required navigation performance (RNP) .1 and quiet climb features.



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Cargolux, Boeing and GE break 747-8F impasse


Boeing, General Electric and Cargolux have resolved a contractual dispute regarding the performance of its first two 747-8 freighters and plans to take delivery on 12 October, pending the approval of the cargo carrier's board of directors.


Akbar Al-Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, speaking at the delivery of the Middle Eastern carrier's 100th aircraft delivery in Everett, Washington, said the impasse had been resolved between the cargo company and General Electric over a 2.7% fuel burn shortfall in the new jets, whose remarks were confirmed by Boeing.


Qatar Airways holds a 25% stake in Cargolux, and will hold a board meeting on 6 and 7 October to confirm its acceptance of the first two of 12 GEnx-2B-powered aircraft it has on order.


Even with the postponement to 12 October, nearly a month after Cargolux rejected its first two 747-8Fs on 16 September just days before its planned delivery, the Luxembourg-based cargo hauler will very likely retain its launch customer status, receiving its first jumbo freighter ahead of Cathay Pacific Cargo and Atlas Air.




747-8F row linked to GE issues, not Qatar 787s

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WASHINGTON: Boeing Co said on Friday it would not make the planned first delivery of its 747-8 Freighter to Cargolux today, citing "unresolved issues" with the airline.



The plane maker, which had planned three days of celebrations to mark the long-awaited first delivery, did not disclose the problem and referred questions to the customer.


A Cargolux spokeswoman was unreachable by phone and did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.


Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx said the company was working with Cargolux to resolve the issues. He declined to say how the snag would affect the 747-8F delivery schedule.


"We are working with our customer to determine a date for delivery," Proulx said.


Boeing, the world's second-largest plane maker, was set to make first delivery of the freighter version of its elongated 747 to a customer today, marking the start of a new chapter in the life of the aircraft that has been Boeing's most recognisable plane for decades.


Cargolux, Europe's largest all-cargo airline, was scheduled to take possession of the 747-8 Freighter amid celebrations at Boeing's assembly plant in Everett, Washington.


The last-minute snag follows multiple delays to another Boeing plane, the mid-sized 787 Dreamliner. That plane, now scheduled to make its first delivery 10 days from now, is about three years behind its original schedule and several billion dollars over budget by some estimates.


While Boeing declined to identify the source of the friction with Cargolux over the 747-8, aviation experts suspected the dispute was over performance guarantees related to fuel consumption of the General Electric engines. The 747-8 features GE's GEnx-2B67.


"The performance problems were well known and they were supposed to be addressed by Boeing and GE," said Adam Pilarski, senior vice-president at AVITAS, an airline consulting company that also works with aircraft lessors and lenders.


Pilarski said he had no first-hand knowledge of the matter, but he said the issue probably had been percolating for some time. He said customers sometimes request financial compensation if they believe an airplane will not live up to their expectations.


Pilarski said he thinks the issue could be resolved within weeks and that Cargolux will still be the first 747-8 customer.


"It will be resolved with financial conditions," he said. "Right now they are playing chicken."


The 747 was the world's largest airplane until 2005, when EADS unit Airbus unveiled its A380.


Boeing has taken 78 orders for the 747-8 Freighter, which lists at US$319.3 million (RM986.64 million), according to the company's website.


Boeing also is testing a passenger version of the updated 747-8, dubbed the Intercontinental, which it plans to deliver in the fourth quarter to an unidentified VIP customer.


The upgraded 747 promises to burn less fuel, and the passenger version offers more comforts. The plane also boasts new wings, a new tail, state-of-the-art engines and a new cockpit.


Production of the 747-8 has been delayed by more than a year.


The much-delayed 787 Dreamliner, a carbon-composite plane, represents a bigger leap in technology than the revamped 747-8.


The 787 is set for first delivery to All Nippon Airways on September 26. - Reuters


Read more: First delivery of 747-8F to Cargolux scrapped http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/braps/Article/#ixzz1aLi7dcl8

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Boeing delivers first 747-8F


Boeing delivered its first 747-8 Freighter on 12 October to Cargolux, ending a month-long stand-off over a contractual dispute.


The first 747-8F, LC-VCB, was handed over to the carrier today with a second, LC-VCD, to be delivered 13 October. It departed Boeing's Everett site for Seattle-Tacoma International airport where it was loaded with cargo for a flight to Luxembourg.


Cargolux, Boeing and General Electric, which supplies the GEnx-2B engines for the new freighter, have been wrangling over a contractual dispute surrounding the performance of the 747-8F since 16 September when Cargolux declined to accept the aircraft, scuppering the planned first delivery on 19 September.


In a statement, Frank Reimen, president and chief executive of Cargolux said: "I am pleased that we have reached agreement on the contractual issues. The 747-8 Freighter will be a driver of profitable growth for Cargolux."


Akbar Al-Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, a 35% stakeholder in Cargolux, had previously told reporters that the cargo carrier planned to take delivery on 12 October after approving the order at a 7 October board meeting.


On 7 October, Cargolux announced that it had made progress in its talks with Boeing and GE, but a final resolution had not been reached.


Cargolux has 13 747-8Fs on order.



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The Boeing press release on the delivery of the first B747-8F to Cargolux is unconventional ... although it had a glowing statement from Boeing officials, nothing was quoted from any Cargolux officials ... or the real voice behind Cargolux.


I don't think there was any grand celebrations in Seattle ... just a simple ceremony before the plane scooted off to pick up a load of cargo at Seattle and then homebound to Luxembourg.


What a let-down ... hopefully Cathay Pacific Cargo - the next airline to receive her new Jumbo Freighter - will give Boeing much more to rejoice.


KC Sim

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Cargo slump threatens more pain for Boeing 747-8


Boeing Co (BA.N) is battling to prevent teething problems on its 747-8 freighter from turning into a wider customer revolt as jittery airlines seize on a chance to curb their exposure to a slump in the global freight market, industry sources said.


The largest plane ever built by Boeing, a stretched version of its instantly recognizable jumbo, has already been hit by a three-week-long dispute over engine performance that delayed delivery to Cargolux Airlines International CLUX.UL, the airplane's first customer. Another buyer slashed its order by 25 percent.


Now, the fallout from underperformance risks eating into profit margins elsewhere as Boeing dangles concessions to prevent other customers from jumping on the bandwagon.


Notably, Cathay Pacific (0293.HK), the world's largest international air cargo carrier, reconsidered an order for 10 747-8 freighters. But Boeing assuaged the airline with concessions on a recent order for eight 777 freighters, industry sources briefed on the discussions said.


Boeing and Cathay Pacific declined to comment.


Boeing's rearguard action comes as the company disclosed a new delay to the passenger version of the 747-8 and global airlines warned of cutbacks in fleet sizes following a downturn in the cargo market.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) this week warned of further declines after a significant cargo market deterioration in the third quarter. Sagging consumer confidence in the West has slowed the world's trade lanes, and Deutsche Bank said on Friday that Chinese and Indian demand was also weaker.




Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney this week described the fading freight market as a "watch item" when asked on a conference call with industry analysts whether the economy could affect orders for the 747-8.


"The last couple of months there has been some softening," McNerney said. "But the path on these growth curves is often up and down, quarter by quarter."


Aerospace experts say that while the 747-8 has suffered birth pangs, maneuvering by customers makes sense ahead of an anticipated economic downturn."


"The initial production batch looks underwhelming," said Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia. "And given that traffic numbers are underwhelming too, the incentive to defer (airplane orders) has increased significantly.


"For the past three months, the cargo numbers look an awful lot like a double dip (recession)," he said. "Cargo numbers like these are typically advance warnings of things going down."


The problems facing Boeing and its engine supplier General Electric Co (GE.N) fall short of the buyer rebellion and engineering bottlenecks that forced Airbus (EAD.PA) to suspend plans for a competing freighter version of the A380 superjumbo, after all its orders evaporated.


Boeing has 75 orders from eight customers for the freighter version of its updated 747, which lists at $319.3 million.


The 747-8 freighter and an upcoming passenger version promise to burn less fuel than the predecessor 747s. The plane also boasts new wings, a new tail, state-of-the-art engines and a new cockpit.


Although later batches of new airplanes often perform better than earlier ones, the darkening economic backdrop has given extra urgency to talks to shore up the 747-8, whose problems have distracted Boeing from its main priority of building more than 800 carbon-fiber 787 Dreamliners.


"Certainly further deferrals, which wouldn't be a surprise, would hurt this (747-8) program even more," said Alex Hamilton, managing director of EarlyBirdCapital. "I wouldn't argue it's an overwhelming success."


In an embarrassing setback to both Boeing and GE, Luxembourg-based Cargolux refused at first to accept the initial 747-8 aircraft because of a 2.7 percent shortfall in the performance of General Electric's engines.


The plane, originally scheduled for delivery on September 19, finally left the Boeing assembly plant near Seattle for Luxembourg with little fanfare on October 12.


Another customer, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW.O), scrapped three out of 12 orders in September, citing delays and performance, but still hailed the 747-8 as a "cornerstone" of its future growth.


GE said it was making improvements to the engine, which is similar to a model that will power more than half the Dreamliners already sold.


"Fuel burn on the engines has been well-understood for a long, long time," spokesman Rick Kennedy said. "We're fighting like crazy to get there, and we've got a plan that will meet it."


Attention will now turn to other carriers in Asia, which IATA says is the region worst-hit by the cargo downturn.


Industry sources say a key test of confidence will be whether Korean Air (003490.KS), the world's second-largest international air cargo player after Cathay Pacific, and Nippon Cargo Airlines, part of Japan's biggest shipping company Nippon Yusen (9101.T), weaken their resolve to buy a combined total of 21 747-8 freighter aircraft worth $6.7 billion.


Korean Air is scrutinizing the aircraft's performance particularly closely, two industry sources said. The airline declined to comment.


Besides engine woes, the 747-8 freighter is also up to 8 or 9 tons overweight, according to industry reports. Boeing has not confirmed that estimate. Additional weight is common in new planes but can reduce the distance a plane can fly or the amount of cargo it can carry.


Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx, who said weight reduction is part of any airplane production program, pointed to numerous advantages of the new planes -- even the first ones assembled.


"It's important to remember that, from the day these airplanes are delivered, they provide airlines a leap forward in performance over the airplanes they replace: double-digit improvements in fuel burn, operating cost and lowered emissions; 16 percent more revenue-generating capacity; 30 percent less noise," he said.


"And we are continuing to make improvements that can be rolled into these airplanes after they're already in service," he said.




The ability of any airline to reduce orders or extract penalties depends on contractual guarantees concerning factors like fuel burn, payload and range or the ability to link certain cities, which tend to be customized to each airline.


It is harder to cancel airplanes for performance reasons than for late delivery. Still, the 747-8 freighter is running two years late, which is said to be a typical industry threshold for cancellation clauses.


In such negotiations engine makers can play a decisive role as they have the bargaining power to offset the performance of new engines against spares and maintenance on old equipment.


Nearly all 747-8 freighter buyers have significant quantities of GE engines on previously ordered aircraft, especially Cathay Pacific, a major user of GE-powered 777s, and Korean, which operates or has ordered more than 60 GE-powered planes.


Boeing this week announced a further delay in deliveries of a 467-seat passenger version of the 747-8 to early 2012 from the fourth quarter of 2011.


That version is not yet a major force, with 36 sold and a quarter of those destined for VIPs or governments, but its progress is seen as a useful gauge of the volume of changes coming out of the flight tests as Boeing works to keep the program on track.



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Boeing has dropped the empty weight of the latest 747-8 Freighters by 2.5t compared to the aircraft delivered a year ago and tweaked the aileron configuration to boost aerodynamic performance.


The improvements were revealed at an industry conference on 29 November by a Cargolux executive, who noted the long-awaited weight reduction arrived with the delivery of the carrier's sixth 747-8F in mid-November.


"Strangely, we're very happy" with the new aircraft's performance, Yves Germeaux said at the Ascend Aviation 2020 Finance Forum, a Flightglobal-sponsored event, in San Francisco.


Cargolux helped Boeing launch the 747-8F with the first order, but then refused to accept delivery of the first 747-8 for several weeks last year due to disputes about contractual guarantees. Another carrier, Atlas Air, cancelled orders for three 747-8Fs last year partly due to performance issues.


But the Luxembourg-based carrier's position appears to have softened with the latest arrival in its fleet.


"The performance, with [the improvements] all in mind, is quite close to what Boeing had in mind," Germeaux added.


In response, Boeing agreed "overall" with the Cargolux assessment of the performance of its sixth 747-8F, but also noted that some customers have reported a 1% fuel burn improvement compared to Boeing's promises.


Boeing has not publicly updated the empty weight specification on the 747-8F since December 2011. At that time, airport planning documents released by the airframer showed the baseline weight had already started decline since first delivery in October 2011, falling by 363kg (800lb) to 190.9t.


At the same time, Boeing increased maximum take-off weight for the 747-8 by 1.3% to 448t, based on the results of a flight loads survey that showed extra payload margin in the airframe.


Since that time, the Freighter model has also benefitted from improvements introduced with the certification of the passenger 747-8 Intercontinental model on 14 December 2011.


Boeing now says that the 747-8I added enhanced positioning of the fly-by-wire outboard aileron in cruise, and that feature was retrofitted on the 747-8F. More improvements are expected to be introduced next year, with the second performance improvement package (PIP 2) of the General Electric GEnx-2b engines.


Source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-reduces-747-8-weight-tweaks-aileron-setting-379799/

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