SEATTLE, Sept. 16, 2006 -- Boeing today celebrated the arrival of the first of three specially modified 747-400 passenger jets that will be used to transport the large composite sections and wings of the all-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter (LCF) touched down at Seattles Boeing Field at 8:08 a.m. PDT, ending a non-stop, 13-hour, 17-minute flight from Taipei, Taiwan.

The LCFs arrival in Seattle signals a new phase of the airplanes flight test program, which began when the airplane made its first flight in Taipei on Sept. 9, 2006. Since then, the LCF successfully completed two additional flights, which demonstrated its airworthiness and ability to complete the ferry flight to Seattle.

It was a beautiful flight, said Capt. Joe MacDonald, 747 chief pilot. The LCF is such an important part of Boeings business going forward. The LCF is a key element of the lean, global production system that is critical to the 787s success. Flying the large components reduces shipping time to as little as one day from as many as 30. The fleet of three airplanes is being modified by Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp. (EGAT) in Taipei.

This is one of the key milestones for the 787 program this year, said Scott Strode, 787 vice president of Airplane Development and Production. Many people said creating the LCF couldnt be done, and others said it was possible, but not on such an aggressive schedule. The LCFs arrival today comes less than 14 months after it entered the factory for modification. Its a testament to the talent and dedication of our Boeing/EGAT team. The LCFs flight test program is expected to last through the end of the year.