THE Boeing Co's first 747-400 freighter has entered its final production phase at the manufacturer's plant in the United States. Orders for 16 of the cargo carriers have so far been received, including two from Cathay Pacific Airways. The prototype will begin a three-month certification flight test programme and the first deliveries are scheduled for the autumn. The new plane is a derivative of the Boeing 747-200 freighter with the same fuselage dimensions. It will be able to carry more payload at longer ranges, with better fuel economy and lower operating costs. This enhanced capability is attributed to more powerful engines and larger wings coupled with improved cargo handling system components. Changes have resulted in 21.9 cu metres more cargo space on the main deck than the 747-200F.