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Boeing delays delivery of 747-8

Oct 01 2010 07:23 AFP

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Washington - Boeing delayed Thursday the delivery of its first 747-8 cargo airplane to mid-2011, a commercial production setback in a week that has seen the US aerospace giant win massive defense contracts.

Boeing said the pushed-back delivery schedule was due to problems discovered during flight tests.

The first 747-8 Freighter had been scheduled for delivery to launch customer Cargolux, based in Luxembourg, in the fourth quarter of this year.

Boeing said the postponement followed a "thorough assessment" of the problems, which include a low-frequency vibration in certain flight conditions and an underperforming aileron actuator, the movable airfoil at the trailing edge of an airplane wing.

"While neither issue requires structural changes to the airplane, they have led to disruptions to certification testing, which the program was unable to offset within the prior schedule," the Chicago-based company said in a statement.

To support the new schedule, a fifth airplane will be added to the flight-test fleet, it said.

"We recognize our customers are eager to add the 747-8 Freighter to their fleets, and we understand and regret any impact this schedule change may have on their plans to begin service with the airplane," Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager, Airplane Programs, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in the statement.

The company said the new delivery schedule was not expected to have a significant impact on its 2010 financial results.

Boeing's announcement of another commercial production snag came in a week in which the company basked in a flood of multibillion-dollar Defense Department contracts.

The Pentagon on Wednesday awarded Boeing a contract worth nearly $12bn to help modernize B-52 weapons systems over eight years.

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