Boeing announced yesterday that it received expanded type inspection authorization (TIA) from the FAA for the 747-8 Freighter on June 11, clearing the way for FAA personnel to participate in test flights and collect required data.
“This is a major step in our effort to test and certify the 747-8 Freighter for our customers,” said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager for the 747 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The airplane is performing well in the tests. We have demonstrated the airplane's readiness to move onto the next stage in the flight-test program through tests at a variety of speeds, altitudes and configurations.”
TIA clears the 747 program team to start expanded certification testing, during which it will explore the extremes of the flight envelope. Testing conditions include operations in hot and cold weather as well as takeoffs and landings at high-altitude airports. The program also involves testing for over-speed conditions, hard landings and engine-out conditions.
“The airplane is handling beautifully,” said Mark Feuerstein, 747 program chief pilot. “It is a joy to fly.”
The program calls for a total of about 3,700 hours of ground and flight testing. Boeing plans to deliver the first 747-8 Freighter to Cargolux during this year's fourth quarter.