The Boeing Co. [NYSE: BA] has released the first engineering drawings for its new 747-8
airplane, launched in November 2005 by Cargolux Airlines and Nippon Cargo Airlines.
The two drawings released were for the body landing gear and the underwing engine fittings.
"It is really exciting to see the new 747-8 Intercontinental and Freighter family of airplanes become a reality with these first drawing releases," said Corky Townsend, chief project engineer, 747-8 Program.
"The design of the airplane continues on schedule to allow us to deliver the first 747-8 in late 2009," Townsend added. "We believe the new 747 is the right size for the large airplane market and the shape of the future."
The first drawing defines the body landing gear outer cylinder sufficiently to allow the supplier, Goodrich Corp. (NYSE: GR) at a site in Cleveland, to begin developing the forging block that will be used to make the part.
The 747-8 will require two of the cylinders, one on each side of the airplane. Similar work will follow on the outer cylinder for the wing landing gear. The 747-8 will have a nose landing gear and four main landing gear - two body landing gear and two wing landing gear.
The second release - the engineering advanced materials release - is for fittings that will be used to hang the engine on the underside of the wing. Four fittings are required for each of the four GEnx-2B67 engines on the 747-8, for a total of 16 per airplane. The fittings are made of titanium.
The release authorizes the Hong Yuan Aviation Forging & Casting Industry Co. in Sanyuan, China, to begin working with Boeing Global Partners to order titanium material to allow production of these parts. The supplier of the parts will be Precision Machine Works in Tacoma, Wash.
The 747-8 is a family of passenger and freighter airplanes that serves the market for airplanes of 400 seats and larger. The 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airplane seats 450 passengers in a typical three-class configuration and offers the lowest seat-mile cost of any passenger airplane. It provides operators a 14,815-km (8,000-nmi) range, 21 percent greater cargo volume and 9 percent lower seat-mile costs compared with the 747-400. The 747-8 Freighter will fly 8,275 km (4,475 nmi) with a maximum structural payload capacity of 140 metric tonnes (154 tons). It offers 16 percent more revenue cargo volume than the 747-400F with slightly greater range. The 747-8 Freighter upholds its predecessor's legendary efficiency, with equivalent trip costs and 15 percent lower ton-mile costs than the 747-400F. The 747-8 Freighter will enjoy the lowest ton-mile costs of any freighter, giving operators unmatched profit potential. The first 747-8 Freighter will be delivered to launch customer Cargolux in September 2009.