747-8F undergoing repairs after tug incident

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One of Boeing's 747-8F flight test aircraft sustained damage to its fan cowl and engine inlet when it impacted a tug while being towed.

Boeing announced the incident, which occurred at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California on the evening of 30 May, through its Twitter account. "A tug driver clipped another tug causing a fender bender to a cowling," the company says.

Boeing says the right-hand outboard engine casing, number four, sustained the damage.

The aircraft involved, RC521, was scheduled to begin nautical air mile (NAMS) testing this week on its four General Electric GEnx-2B engines to establish the fuel efficiency of the aircraft's powerplants, Boeing confirms. The company determined there was no damage to the engine, and NAMS testing is expected to begin shortly.

RC521 is the second of four aircraft to enter flight testing, and three aircraft are currently operating in flight test campaign.

Boeing is currently undergoing a 1,600h flight test programme for the 747-8 freighter. The airframer is pushing for first delivery to Cargolux during the fourth quarter despite recent warnings that the current delivery schedule is at risk.