The Boeing Co. delivered the first of its new 747-8 cargo jets to its customer, nearly a month after postponing the first hand-over because of a contractual dispute between the builder and the buyer. Luxembourg-based Cargolux is a global freight hauler that has orders for 13 of the enlarged jumbo jet.
The specific nature of the dispute has not been explained, though Cargolux said the problem "related to the performance of the aircraft and the engines," but that it has been resolved.
Cargolux placed its initial 747-8 order in 2005. It is the fourth generation of the famous wide-body jet, with a longer fuselage and redesigned wings. Boeing is offering two design variants of this jet, and in addition to being the largest 747 yet the 747-8 is the largest commercial aircraft built in the U.S., and its commercial airline version is the world’s longest passenger aircraft. That version will not be delivered to its first customer until 2013.
In addition to Cargolux, seven other carriers have ordered a total of 75 planes of the 747-8 Freighter design.
Boeing claims the 747-8 Freighter will provide airlines with double-digit improvements in fuel burn, operating cost and lower emissions over the airplane it replaces. It will offer 16% more cargo volume and carry a maximum structural payload capacity of 147.6 tons (133.9 metric tons). It is powered by GE Aircraft’s new GEnx-2B67 engines.
The new jet was certified for commercial service by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certification early in September.
"This is a great day for The Boeing Company and for Cargolux," stated Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh. "The 747-8 Freighter is truly the Queen of the Skies for the 21st Century, and will continue the promise of the 747 for decades to come."