Boeing today conducted the on-time roll-out event for the 777 Freighter in advance of first delivery to launch customer Air France by end-year.

The public debut ceremony marks the final key milestone in the three-year-old programme’s development. An abbreviated flight test phase, which can lean heavily on accumulated experience from the 777 family, is scheduled to begin in June.

Boeing has kept the 777F schedule on track despite delays in the 787 programme preventing engineers and other resources from being released for other projects.

“By working together with our customers and suppliers, we found out a way to mee those challenges and build the best possible new cargo airplane,” says Kim Pastega, deputy program manager and deputy chief project engineer.

The 777F has attracted 78 firm orders from 11 customers.

Since the programme began, Boeing has only slightly modified the performance specifications for the company’s newest freighter. Revenue payload capability has been reduced from 229,000lbs to 226,000lbs, and maximum range has eroded from 9,195km (4,965nm) to 9,045 km (4,885nm).

Air France senior VP, new aircraft and corporate fleet planning, Pierre Vellay praised the 777F’s capabilities in a Boeing-issued statement.

“We are pleased with the capability and performance it will bring to the air crago industry,” Vellay said.

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Source: Flight International