|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||5th October 2005|
Cathay Pacific Airways announced that test flights will start this week in Hong Kong to certify a brand new type of Boeing freighter aircraft, for which Cathay Pacific is the world's first customer.
Cathay Pacific will assist with the programme to prove the airworthiness of the 747-400BCF, or Boeing Converted Freighter, which has been modified from a former Cathay Pacific passenger aircraft. It is the first time that manufacturer Boeing has taken the step to certify a new aircraft type outside of the United States - underlining Hong Kong's importance as a global aviation centre.
The aircraft underwent conversion at the TAECO engineering centre in Xiamen, China, and was handed over to Boeing's flight test division late last month before being flown to Hong Kong today to commence several weeks of flight tests. Actual test flights will take place over the South China Sea in a large area south of Hong Kong not used by commercial air traffic. The Boeing flight test crew plans to accumulate over 111 hours of flying time.
A major part of certification will involve testing fire detection, suppressant and smoke clearing systems within the aircraft. During these tests, the aircraft will fly prescribed and rigorous scenarios over the South China Sea. Although the test programme will be in Boeing's hands and the aircraft will be flown by Boeing test pilots, Cathay Pacific pilots will help familiarise them with the area. The airline's Flight Operations Department is facilitating with local authorities and regulatory bodies.
Cathay Pacific Engineering Director Derek Cridland says: "There has been a lot of work between Boeing, Cathay, TAECO and the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department to make this happen. Cathay Pacific is again taking a lead in the industry as launch customer for this new aircraft. It shows what a world class airline we are, and demonstrates Hong Kong is a world class aviation centre."
The flight test programme will be completed in November and the aircraft will enter service with the airline mid December. Major conversion work included cutting a cargo loading door in the side of the fuselage and strengthened main-deck floor. The airline has a firm commitment for six conversions and options on six more.
(From left) Mr John McCormick, General Manager Operations of Cathay Pacific, Mr Derek Cridland, Engineering Director of Cathay Pacific, Mr P K Chan, Chairman of TAECO, Mr Macro Cavazzoni, Director 747-400 Special Freighter Program Commerical Airplanes of Boeing, together with (front) Mr Y K Leung, Deputy Director-General of Civil Aviaiton, welcome the arrival of the B747-400BCF at Hong Kong today for the flight tests.
(From left) Mr Macro Cavazzoni, Director 747-400 Special Freighter Program Commerical Airplanes of Boeing, Mr Derek Cridland, Engineering Director of Cathay Pacific, Mr P K Chan, Chairman of TAECO, Mr John McCormick, General Manager Operations of Cathay Pacific, together with Mr Y K Leung, Deputy Director-General of Civil Aviaiton, welcome the arrival of the 747-400BCF at Hong Kong today for the flight tests.
The major conversion work of the of the 747-BCF includes the cutting of a cargo loading door in the side of the fuselage.
(From left) Mr Macro Cavazzoni, Director 747-400 Special Freighter Program Commerical Airplanes of Boeing, Mr Derek Cridland, Engineering Director of Cathay Pacific, and Mr P K Chan, Chairman of TAECO
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