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The ultra-long-range Boeing 777-200LR 'Worldliner'. (Photo: Boeing)

Chronology of widebody airliners (9)


= February 2, 2006 =
The American and European aviation authorities certify the Boeing 777-200LR 'Worldliner'.

= July 17, 2006 =
At Farnborough Airbus presents a completely renewed design for the A350, designated "A350 XWB" (eXtra Wide Body). The aircraft is intended to compete with both the Boeing 787 and the 777. The fuselage is to become wider than that of earlier Airbus widebodies and also a little wider than that of the 787.

= July 17, 2006 =
Singapore Airlines signs a Letter of Intent for 20 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft plus 20 options. The deal also includes nine A380s and the lease of 19 A330-300s.

= September 9, 2006 =
The Boeing 747-400LCF (Large Cargo Freighter) takes to the air for the first time. The LCF is a modified 747 with an extra wide and high upper fuselage and intended for the transport of major 787 components. The modification is carried out by Evergreen Technologies Corp. (EGAT), a joint venture between General Electric and EVA Air.

Boeing 747-400LCF

First flight of the Boeing 747-400LCF from Taipeh Taoyuan International Airport. (Photo: Boeing)

= December 1, 2006 =
Airbus offically launches the A350 XWB. The expected in-service debut of the aircraft is now expected in mid-2013. Three versions are projected: the A350 XWB-800, -900 and -1000.

= December 6, 2006 =
Lufthansa becomes the first customer for the Boeing 747-8I passenger aircraft with an order for 20 aircraft plus purchase rights for 20 more.

= December 12, 2006 =
The Airbus A380 is officially certificated by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). At that moment delivery to the airlines is about two years behind schedule, however, because of serious production problems.


= January 17, 2007 =
Airbus officially launches the A330-200F freighter. The entry into service of the first A330 freighter is planned for the second half of 2009. One day later Guggenheim Aviation Partners becomes the first customer with an order for six aircraft, followed by the Turkish airline MNG Cargo on January 25.

= July 8, 2007 =
On 07-08-07 (=787), Boeing rolls out the first Boeing 787 from the factory in Everett. Because of production problems the aircraft is far from complete yet and the first flight will have to wait for a while.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

= July 12, 2007 =
Airbus delivers the final A300 production aircraft to FedEx. This means the end of the combined A300/A310 production line in Toulouse after delivery of 821 aircraft, of which 561 were A300s.

= October 25, 2007 =
The first Airbus A380, delivered to Singapore Airlines, performs its first commercial flight between Singapore and Sydney.

Airbus A380 Singapore Airlines

The Airbus A380 is landing at Sydney Airport, completing its first commercial flight. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)


= July 14, 2008 =
The Boeing 777F Freighter makes its maiden flight.


= February 6, 2009 =
Boeing recieves the certificate of airworthiness for the Boeing 777F.

= February 19, 2009 =
Boeing delivers the first Boeing 777F to Air France. The airline starts operations with the aircraft on February 28.

= November 5, 2009 =
The A330-200F, an all-cargo derivative of the A330-200, performs its maiden flight.

Airbus A330 Freighter

The first Airbus A330-200F takes off. (Photo: Airbus)

= December 15, 2009 =
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes its maiden flight from Paine Field in Everett. The flight takes about three hours and the aircraft lands at Seattle's Boeing Field. The 787 performing the flight is the first of six test aircraft and it is fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. Until that moment 55 airlines worldwide have ordered 840 787's, making the Dreamliner the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner first flight

The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner during its maiden flight. (Photo Boeing)


= February 8, 2010 =
The Boeing 747-8F Freighter makes its first flight. Until that moment Boeing has secured orders for 108 747-8 aircraft, including 76 for the freighter version.

Boeing 747-8

The first Boeing 747-8F during its maiden flight. (Photo Boeing)

= August 9, 2010 =
Etihad Crystal Cargo receives the first Airbus A330-200F freighter.

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