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mately 17 per cent improvement over the
747-400. ese gures, Carcaillet says,
reinforces Airbus assertions that have the
A380 with 525 seats with an eight per cent
fuel burn advantage over a 747-8 with 405
seats under Airbus rules.
But the best judges are perhaps the cus-
tomers, and Lufthansa, the launch customer
for the 747-8I believes that the aircraft,
which will enter service late this year, will
have almost the same fuel burn per passen-
ger as the A380 on LH's typical missions.
" ese are numbers on our load factors,
on our network and in our con gura-
tions," executive VP, Lufthansa Group
eet management Nico Buchholz told
attendees at the Eco-Aviation Conference
in Washington last year. Buchholz said the
747-8I will have a fuel burn of 3.51 litres
per passenger per 100km, while the A380
with Rolls-Royce engines, which LH also
has ordered, will achieve a burn of 3.4 litres.
But whatever the operating and fuel costs,
there is another number which is criti-
cal -- capital costs. And this is where Airbus
has been "more sporty" claims Aboula a,
although Airbus denies heavy discounting.
ere Aboula a agrees with the market view
that Boeing has not needed to discount the
747-8F and thus has not been able to cut
prices on the passenger version.
But while capital cost is important,
installed eet in the form of the 747 is
also critical, particularly for an airline that
only wants a handful of 400-plus-seaters
says Aboula a. However, for airlines
such as Cathay Paci c, which has a large
eet of 747-400s, the 747-8I has appeal
because it has ordered 10 of the -8F and
taken 10 options.
In fact, at the launch of the 787, Ca-
thay Paci c's then COO Tony Tyler told
Australian Aviation that the airline was
"delighted with the 787's launch because of
what it meant for what was then dubbed
the 747 Advanced."
And Aboula a is upbeat on the GEnx
engine for the 747-8 series after Boeing
and GE close on "a third performance im-
provement package (PIP) to get the engine
family to return the 747-8's fuel burn to its
original target by 2013."
GE says that it is currently ight and
ground testing a package of improvements
to the GEnx-1B engine for the 787, some
of which will carry over to the 747-8's
65,000lb thrust GEnx-2B engine.
While both engines share a common
core and 80 per cent LRUs (line replace-
able units), the GEnx-2B has a smaller
fan and pneumatically driven start system,
while the GEnx-1B has an electric bleed-
Despite the speci c fuel consumption
problems, Buchholz told media at the roll-
out of the 747-8I that it will meet the air-
line's requirements. "And I'm still pleased,"
Buchholz told Bloomberg.
On October 6 2009 Boeing announced
the second delay in the 747-8 program,
pushing back the rst ight of the 747-8F
to "early next year" and rst delivery to
the 2010 fourth quarter, while reporting a
US$1 billion charge on the program. In the
previous year it had announced a slip in the
rst delivery to the 2010 third quarter.
ose delays, along with the 787 prob-
lems, forced Boeing Commercial Airplanes
president and CEO Scott Carson to step
down and he was succeeded by former
Integrated Defense Systems president and
CEO Jim Albaugh in late August 2009.
At the time Bernstein Research was
scathing, commenting that the latest
747-8F delay is "another example of
program-management issues on new
development programs at Boeing," add-
ing that "the 747-8 should have been a
straightfor ward development process on a
However, what is not fully understood
is that rather than a simple stretch the
747-8 is a major redesign, including what
amounts to an all-new wing built around
an unchanged wing box.
Boeing said in a statement that the US$1
billion charge is related to "increased pro-
duction costs and the di cult market condi-
tions" a ecting the 747-8 program. Ap-
RED LETTER DAY The 747-8 Intercontinental was presented in front of 10,000 employees, government officials, customers, partners and suppliers at its February
13 unveiling. (Boeing)
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