Assembly of Boeing's 747-8 freighter is officially underway after the aircraft's wing panels and wing spars were loaded into assembly tooling last week, reports ATI affiliate Flightblogger.
Boeing says 90% of the aircraft's design has been released for fabrication, while long-time 747 Vought supplier yesterday during an earnings call explained it has shipped the first floor beams for the aircraft to Boeing.
Launch customer Cargolux is expected to take delivery of the first 747-8F in the third quarter of 2009, following flight testing and certification of the new freighter.
A total of 105 next generation 747s have been ordered. The freighter variant has garnered 78 orders and the passenger variant 27.
Lufthansa is currently the only airline customer to date with a firm order for 20, while seven BBJ 747-8s have been ordered by VIP customers.
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news