Engines that improve the Boeing 747-8's fuel economy by 1.8 percent were delivered Wednesday on a new cargo freighter to Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways.
While that fuel economy improvement seems a small percentage, but over a year's time that fuel economy enhancement could save Cathay the equivalent of 30 semi-truck loads of fuel just for that one aircraft.
The engine changes are part of a three-phase program to improve the fuel efficiency and utility of the latest version of the 747 jumbo jet. The other two phases are flight management system software upgrades and reactivation of the horizontal tail fuel tanks.
Those two improvements are expected to be implemented later this month and in 2014.
Boeing had advised airlines not to use the horizontal tail fuel tanks because of aerodynamic issues that have been corrected with software changes.