As became clear last week, we’ve had our share of challenges on the 747-8 program, but it’s moving ahead and things are taking shape in the factory right now.
So, I thought that rather than just talking about the progress on the 747-8 Freighter, why not show you? Nothing says progress more than sharing a couple of photos from the factory.
The Section 41 cab for the first 747-8F is loaded into place in Everett.
As you can see, we’ve had a significant first, as the 747-8 team loaded Section 41 into the assembly tool. This is the part of the 747 that people think of when they think of this iconic airplane – the signature “hump.”
Section 41 happens to be the first part of the fuselage to be completed for the 747-8F. It’s a major assembly section supplied by Spirit Aerosystems. As you might guess, it also presents some challenges because of its unique shape. That’s a point of pride for the Section 41 team – getting this key assembly right.
Crews place the first 747-8 Freighter’s lower lobe of section 41 into the assembly tool.
Most of the crew has worked on a number of 747 models, but for the veterans as well as the more recent employees on the project, it’s also still a learning experience. This is essentially a new airplane.
First flight of the 747-8F is scheduled for later this year. First delivery is planned for the third quarter of next year.
Now while we’re on the subject of icons, I thought you’d also enjoy some of the great material Delta Air Lines has put together on their Under the Wing blog.
The first 747-400 in Delta colors arrives in Tokyo. (Delta Air Lines photo)
The first of 16 747-400s operated by Northwest Airlines rolled out of a paint hangar in California last month, proudly decked out in Delta livery, and then flew its first mission to Tokyo in the new colors. Personally, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride here too. Back when I was a Boeing sales director for Northwest, it’s likely I actually sold them this airplane – my very first sale was a 747 to NWA.
Finally, I wouldn’t be discharging my duty to bring you some of the more unusual news out there, if I didn’t link you to some further evidence – this time from Stockholm – of just how versatile Boeing airplanes can be - a 747 converted into a “Jumbo Hostel.”
I must admit I never imagined weddings on the wings, and a flight deck converted into a bridal suite complete with private bathroom. Kind of gives new meaning to, “If it’s not Boeing I’m not going.”