updated 12/9/2009 9:03:58 AM ET 2009-12-09T14:03:58

Boeing Co. said Wednesday that it has completed the first tests on engines for its 747-8 freighter, moving the delay-plagued jet one step closer to a flight test.

The aerospace company said the engines and their systems performed as anticipated during the tests, which included starting and running the engines at multiple power settings.

The GEnx-2B engine is expected to improve fuel efficiency as well as cut down on jet emissions and noise.

"We are very pleased with the engines' performance during this test," Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 program, said in a statement.

In October, Boeing said it would record a $1 billion charge because of delays in producing the 747-8 freighter.

As of last month Boeing had secured 105 orders for the 747-8 and anticipated the first flight of the plane by early next year.

Boeing is based in Chicago.

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