Several key adjustments to the aircraft may delay the aircraft by as much as 6 months according to the analysts.
Engineers are redesigning the 747-8’s inboard aileron actuator, a system on the wings that helps the plane turn and had moved up and down unexpectedly on one of the jets.
Boeing is also testing new software this week to help control some oscillation, or vibration, experienced during the test flights. Vibration can cause a plane to break apart if it amplifies to become the self-feeding motion termed flutter, which Boeing engineers said isn’t the case for the 747-8.
The wing is the longest Boeing has ever built and supports a stretched fuselage that has 16 percent more room in the freighter model. The passenger version holds 51 extra seats, for a total of 467, and carries 26 percent more cargo. Both models use new General Electric Co. engines based on those developed for the 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing also adjusted the angle of the main wheel well to address some buffeting during landings. The two unresolved concerns, and dozens of more minor ones discovered since the plane’s maiden flight in February, are “all addressable issues, but take some time to resolve,” the engineers said.
While Boeing had said that the 747-8’s initial woes were due to the Dreamliner siphoning away resources, Boeing said the team is getting what it needs. The company has had to make more changes than expected to the fifth variant of the 40-year-old jumbo jet, he said.
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