Boeing [NYSE: BA] has rolled the first 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter (LCF) out of the hangar at Taipei's Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport. The enormous airplane is the first of three specially modified jets that will be used to transport major assemblies for the all-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
"This is one of the most unusual modifications Boeing has ever done," said Scott Strode, 787 vice president of Airplane Development and Production. "We've relied on the world's best talent to design and build the LCF and we can all be proud today to see it standing on the tarmac."
Ground testing is under way to prepare the LCF for its first flight. After initial flight testing in Taipei, the LCF will fly to Seattle to complete the flight test program. First flight and the ferry flight to Seattle are expected to occur by the end of August.
The modifications have been performed by Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp. (EGAT), a joint venture of EVA Air and General Electric and a part of Taiwan's Evergreen Group. The second airplane continues to be modified and will be completed this fall. The third airplane will begin modification next year. The first two LCFs enter service in 2007 to support the final assembly of the first Dreamliners.