Boeing mechanics last Friday completed the installation of the new General Electric GEnx-2B engines on the first 747-8 Freighter in final assembly at the factory in Everett, Wash., the company announced today.
“We are another step closer to bringing the 747-8 Freighter to market,” said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 program. “This production milestone is a reflection of the strong working together relationship among Boeing, GE Aviation, Middle River Aircraft Systems and Spirit AeroSystems.”
The GEnx-2B continues its progress through its engine certification testing. It recently completed the first phase of flight testing on GE’s 747 flying testbed.
“The GEnx-2B engine has performed very well during more than 1,500 hours of ground certification tests and 100 hours of flight testing,” said Tom Brisken, general manager of GE Aviation’s GEnx program. “We look forward to watching the GEnx-powered 747-8 Freighter take its first flight, ushering in a new era of improved aircraft efficiency.”
The GEnx-2B closely resembles the GEnx-1B engine launched with the 787 Dreamliner. Designed specifically for the 747-8, the GEnx-2B supplies 66,500 pounds of thrust.
“The 747-8 and the GEnx-2B are a perfect match,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Propulsion Systems. “The combination of these two technologies will provide our customers with improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions and noise as well as lower cost of ownership.”
The new engines stand as a major contributor to the 747-8 Freighter’s 17-percent fuel efficiency gain over the 747-400 Freighter. The airplane will also feature a 30-percent smaller noise footprint than its predecessor, making it a QC2-compliant airplane on both departure and arrival.
Boeing expects the 747-8 Freighter to fly for the first time early in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by delivery in the third quarter of 2010. Boeing has secured 78 orders from leading cargo operators for the new 747-8 Freighter. Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air all have placed firm orders for the airplane.