The newest member of the Boeing [NYSE: BA] 747 family is gearing up for its ceremonial rollout celebration. On June 17, the 747-400ER (Extended Range) will make its debut in front of thousands of proud Boeing employees who designed, built and now are getting ready to test the new airplane.
Recently as part of its preparations for the rollout and subsequent first flight, Boeing crews gave the landing gear a healthy workout -- and made sure the airplane is ready to begin its rigorous ground and flight test program. The landing gear has been strengthened to support the 747-400ER's increased gross takeoff weight of 910,000 pounds (412,770 kilograms). New, slightly larger radial tires have been added as well.
Following the 747-400ER's June 17 rollout celebration, it immediately will begin final preparations for its flight test program. The two 747-400ER test airplanes will undergo about 230 hours of flight testing and 380 hours of ground testing to make sure they meet all requirements for certification.
The first 747-400ER is scheduled to be delivered to launch customer Qantas Airways in October 2002. The first 747-400ER Freighter will begin rolling through the Everett, Wash., factory shortly -- and also is scheduled for first delivery and entry into service in October 2002.