Boeing finished the flight-test program for certification of the new 747-8 Freighter yesterday, the company announced this afternoon. Flight test airplane RC522 completed testing of the flight management computer (FMC) and RC523 concluded function and reliability testing. Both GE GEnx-2B-powered airplanes landed at Paine Field in Everett, Wash., following their final test flights.
“This is such a great day for the new 747-8 and for all the employees who played a part in designing, building and testing this incredible, game-changing airplane,” said Elizabeth Lund, Boeing vice president and general manager for the 747 program. “We are in the home stretch in delivering this airplane to our customers.”
Boeing expects to deliver the first 747-8 Freighter to launch customer Cargolux next month, following certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The 747-8 Freighter has flown more than 1,200 flights and 3,400 hours since its first took to the air on Feb. 8, 2010. During that time, the flight-test team used the five-airplane test fleet to gather data for more than 1,700 FAA certification requirements. Tests concluded with F&R testing, a final phase in which an airplane must accrue 300 FAA-approved flight hours in its final delivery configuration.
Stretching 18 feet and 4 inches longer than the 747-400 Freighter, the 747-8 Freighter provides customers with 16 percent more revenue cargo volume compared to its predecessor, allowing for four more main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets.