The third Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental (RC003) conducted a standard B1 test flight yesterday, after taking to the air for first time at 3:06 p.m. local time from Paine Field Airport in Everett, Wash.
A Boeing spokesman told AIN that RC003 will not serve as a regular flight-test article, however. Rather, plans call for it to fly to Marana, Ariz., where it will conduct high-intensity, radio frequency (HIRF) testing on the ground.
At the Paris Air Show last week, Elizabeth Lund, Boeing 747-8 program manager, said the two primary Intercontinental flight-test aircraft had flown some 300 hours, roughly a third of the expected total needed for certification. The company hopes to gain certification for the passenger version of the 747-8 by the end of this year.