Boeing Business Jets president Steve Taylor says the first and only delivery of the 747-8I in 2011 will be "right at the end of the year", citing change incorporation stemming from flight tests.

"There's not a lot of margin," said Taylor of the 747-8I, which is expected to be certified late in the fourth quarter. "We won't get three to five, the plan is to get one. And it's challenging."

At NBAA 2010, Taylor said Boeing anticipated a four-month flight test programme, with the aim of delivering the first five 747-8Is to completion by the end of 2011.

Further pressure was placed on flight tests when weeks after that October 2010 estimate, Boeing suffered a fire on board one of its 787 flight test aircraft, extending the majority-composite jetliner's certification effort by approximately seven months.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh said in July that the company planned to deliver its first green 747-8I to a completion centre in early December.

747-8 Wingtip

The airframer plans to deliver its first passenger-configured 747-8I to Lufthansa in Spring 2012, and Taylor said the company has been in close communication with its customers about its delivery schedule.

"All of our customers are aware exactly where we are. We're talking directly with them, they know what's going on, there's no surprise that's happening behind the scenes here."

Boeing forecasts delivering 25 to 30 747-8 and 787 aircraft in 2011, reduced in July from 25 to 40.

Source: Flight International