Presto nuovi ordini per il Boeing 747-8I?

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Presto nuovi ordini per il Boeing 747-8I?

Messaggio da Killua_727 » 5 maggio 2009, 15:22

Questo articolo è tratto da Bloomberg e lascia presagire nuovi ordini per l'ultima evoluzione del 747, l'unica e vera regina dei cieli :mrgreen:

May 5 (Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co. said it may get a key second order this year for its 747-8 Intercontinental, the new version of the 40-year-old jumbo jet, as buyers gain confidence in the planemaker amid progress on the marquee Dreamliner.

Boeing “might have some surprises soon” from negotiations with potential customers, Mohammad Yahyavi, who took over as 747 program chief in February, said in an interview. “Good things are going on, so now we’ll see some movement.”

The 747-400 production line is already transitioning to the 747-8 after the last of the discontinued model rolled out of Boeing’s Everett, Washington, factory last night. Interest in the new jumbo jet is gaining as the 787 Dreamliner, whose two- year setback pulled engineers and resources from the 747-8, began passing tests in recent weeks that should bring a maiden flight by the end of June as promised, Yahyavi said.

The Intercontinental’s success is key to Boeing’s challenge to the 525-seat A380 built by larger commercial rival Airbus SAS, said Michel Merluzeau, an aviation analyst at G2 Solutions in Kirkland, Washington. A second Intercontinental order may herald “a cluster of customers” for whom the plane fits better than the A380 and Boeing’s smaller 777, he said.

“Over the past two years, the 747-8 suffered from the 787’s problems,” Merluzeau said. “They have to get that product going so that a sale of the 747-8 is a sale taken away from Airbus, pure and simple.”

Merluzeau said he expects a market for about 100 of the Intercontinentals. Toulouse, France-based Airbus has sold 200 of the A380s and has delivered 13 since the plane went into service at the end of 2007.

Boeing rose 97 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $42.18 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have fallen 51 percent in the past year.

Design Work Progress

Germany’s Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the only airline that’s agreed to buy the 467-seat Intercontinental, with a December 2006 order for 20. That compares to orders from eight customers for 78 of the freighter model.

Boeing has repeatedly said it won’t cancel the $301 million passenger version amid the lack of orders and last week cleared an important milestone by completing 25 percent of the model’s design work.

Customers “know we fell behind on the 787, so they’re waiting to see what happens,” Yahyavi said in the May 1 interview. “The 787 is just about to fly, so they know our focus now will be on the 747-8.”

The freighter, originally scheduled to enter service late this year, is now due in the third quarter of 2010. The Intercontinental is set to be delivered at the end of 2011, a year later than planned. Engineers have shifted over from the Dreamliner and other programs, and Yahyavi said his job is to be a cheerleader for a plan already in place.

‘No Shortage’

“I have all the resources I need now for both the freighter and the Intercontinental,” said Yahyavi, a 29-year Boeing veteran who walks the factory floor daily to talk to workers on the 747 line. “There’s no shortage now, in engineering or manufacturing. That’s why I’m confident we’ll meet our goals and targets.”

The 747-8 will be powered by General Electric Co. engines with the same core as those developed for the Dreamliner, and the passenger version’s interior design is based on the 10 years of research that architects and psychologists did for the 787. The new jumbo jet is 18.3 feet (5.6 meters) longer than the 747- 400, adding 26 percent more cargo volume and 51 extra seats on the Intercontinental and 16 percent more room in the freighter.

Engine Test

When Boeing gave a tour last week, workers were swarming around the first of the freighter’s wings, the longest commercial wing Boeing has ever built, and were piecing together the nose sections of the fuselage on two of three flight-test planes being built. The tail section and empennage for the first jet are due in Everett within a week, and the engine test is more than half completed and should be finished in about a month, Yahyavi said.

“We are moving swiftly and strongly on completing the freighter and doing really well in progress on the Intercontinental,” Yahyavi said, sitting in a mockup of the Intercontinental in the 747’s upper deck. “So now you’ll see a lot more discussion, now that airlines know the schedule and will see the freighter fly. There’s a very good potential that we’ll have something this year,” order-wise.

Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney, with whom Yahyavi met at the company’s Chicago headquarters last week, is “very happy and very supportive” of the progress made on the 747-8, Yahyavi said. “He’s going to help us sell these planes.”

Best Seller

The Dreamliner, the first plane built mostly of composites instead of aluminum, is Boeing’s best-selling new model yet, with orders for 886 even after four delays because of parts shortages and defects, redesigns and vendors who shipped incomplete sections. Boeing said on May 3 it is now set to start fuel testing after completing all the structural tests and simulating a flight.

The plane needs more power and systems tests, as well as a high-speed taxiing run, before it will be ready for the first flight. Boeing has promised the flight will happen by the end of June so the certification process can be finished in time for the plane to enter service at the beginning of 2010.
Madames et Monsieurs bonjour et bienvenu à bord. Nous vous souhaiton un bon vol avec la flotte d'Air France, membre de l'alliance SkyTeam