Boeing Completes 747-8 Freighter Engine Runs Successfully





Boeing Completes 747-8 Freighter Engine Runs Successfully

Mike Mitchell
Boeing Completes 747-8 Freighter Engine Runs

December 10, 2009 - Boeing successfully completed the first engine runs for the 747-8 Freighter. The milestone marks another step in the 747 program's steady progress in preparing for flight test. "We are very pleased with the engines' performance during this test," said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 program. "The engines and all the systems performed as expected." 

Engine runs began slightly before 10 a.m. on Tuesday. During initial engine runs, the engines are started and operated at various power settings to ensure all systems perform as expected. The test began with the auxiliary power system providing power to start the first of four General Electric GEnx-2B engines. The remaining three engines were started using the cross-bleed function. Basic systems checks continued throughout the test. The engines were powered down and inspected.


The team completed a vibration check and monitored the shutdown logic to ensure it functioned as expected. "This milestone is an exciting one for the GEnx-2B team and we anticipate the engines will continue the same high performance that we have experienced in our ground and flight tests," said Tom Brisken, general manager of the GEnx Program at GE Aviation. The GEnx-2B engine is optimized for the 747-8. It helps provide customers with improved fuel efficiency, reductions in emissions and noise and a lower cost of ownership. The GEnx-2B engine is optimized for the 747-8. It helps provide customers with improved fuel efficiency, reductions in emissions and noise and a lower cost of ownership. 

The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental and 747-8 Freighter are the new high-capacity 747s that offer airlines the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large passenger or freighter airplane, while providing enhanced environmental performance. This latest family of the 747 jetliners meets airline requirements for a passenger airplane that serves the 400- to 500-seat market between the 555-seat Airbus A380 and the 365-seat Boeing 777-300 Extended Range airplanes, and a freighter that continues the leadership of the 747 Freighter family in the world cargo market. 

Boeing launched the airplane on November 14, 2005, with firm orders for 18 747-8 Freighters; 10 from Cargolux of Luxembourg and eight from Nippon Cargo Airlines of Japan. The combined list price value of the orders is approximately $5 billion. Boeing had been studying the market feasibility of a new 747 for some time, working with operators to establish their requirements for an incrementally larger 747 to continue the profitability of current 747 fleets. By working together with customers and applying the innovative new technologies of the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing was able to create the 747-8 family. In fact, the designation 747-8 was chosen to show the technology connection between the 787 and the new 747. 


Both the passenger and freighter versions of the 747-8 will allow operators to maximize their profitability. Seat-mile costs for the 747-8 Intercontinental are 13 percent lower than the 747-400, with 2% lower trip costs. The 747-8 Intercontinental is more than 10 percent lighter per seat than the A380 and consumes 11 percent less fuel per passenger. That translates into a trip-cost reduction of 21 percent and a seat-mile cost reduction of more than 6 percent compared to the A380. The 747-8 is the only large airplane that fits today's airport infrastructure, giving airlines the flexibility to fly to more destinations. The 747-8 will build on the current 747's capability to fly into most airports worldwide, using the same pilot type ratings, services and most ground support equipment. With a range of 14,815 km (8,000 nmi), the 747-8 Intercontinental can connect nearly any major city pair in the world. 

The 747-8 family provides new revenue opportunities that will allow airlines to maximize profits. For example, the passenger airplane has 51 additional seats to accommodate 467 passengers in a typical three-class configuration and also offers 26 percent more cargo volume. The 747-8 Freighter offers a range of 8,130 km (4,390 nmi) and has 16 percent more cargo volume than the 747-400, which allows it to hold seven additional pallets with the same nose-door loading capability, industry-standard 3 m (10-ft)-high pallets and real-world cargo density capability at 159 kg/cu m or 9.9 lb/cu ft. Both airplanes represent a new benchmark in fuel efficiency and noise reduction, allowing airlines to lower fuel costs and fly into more airports at more times of the day. The 747-8 Intercontinental is 16 percent more fuel efficient than the 747-400, 11 percent more fuel efficient than the A380, and offers QC2 departures. 

With a maximum structural payload capacity of 140 tonnes (154 tons) the 747-8 Freighter offers 16 percent more revenue cargo volume than the 747-400F. The additional 120 cu m (4,245 cu ft) of volume mean the airplane can accommodate four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets. The 747-8 Freighter enables operators to choose between carrying greater revenue payload -- up to an additional 20 tonnes (22 tons) -- or flying up to 1,400 nmi farther in markets where cargo density requirements are lower. The airplane upholds its predecessor's legendary efficiency, with nearly equivalent trip costs and 16 percent lower ton-mile costs than the 747-400F. In fact, the 747-8 Freighter will enjoy the lowest ton-mile costs of any freighter, giving operators unmatched profit potential. Compared one-on-one, the 747-8 Freighter has no competitors. The 747-8 Freighter's empty weight is 80 tonnes (88 tons) lighter than the A380 freighter. This results in a 24 percent lower fuel burn per ton, which translates into 21 percent lower trip costs and 23 percent lower ton-mile costs than the A380F. 

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