The first Boeing 747-8 freighter has moved closer to its completion with the installation of the GEnx-2B engines.

The Genx-2B is based on the GEnx-1B engine launched for the 787 Dreamliner and has been designed to produce 66,500lb of thrust.

The engine performed well over 1,500 hours of ground certification tests and 100 hours of flight testing and has recently completed the first phase of flight testing on GE’s 747 flying testbed.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Propulsion Systems vice president and general manager Keith Leverkuhn said the 747-8 and the GEnx-2B are a perfect match.

The engine will make the 747-8 Freighter 17% more fuel efficient than the 747-400 and also reduce carbon emissions by 17%.

The freighter will also have 30% smaller noise footprint making it a QC2-compliant airplane on both departure and arrival.

The 747-8 Freighter will take its first flight in the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first delivery is due in the third quarter of 2010.