Boeing’s 747-8 Intercontinental has made its first flight, taking off from Paine Field, Everett, at 9.59am local time on March 20.
RC501 took off with 747 chief project pilot Captain Mark Feuerstein plus Captain Paul Stemer at the controls, and landed four hours and 25 minutes later at Boeing Field in Seattle.
Flying over eastern Washington, RC501 underwent basic handling and performance tests, which saw it reach a cruising altitude of 19,000ft, and a speed of up to 250kt.
“What a great privilege to be at the controls of such a great airplane on its first flight,” said Feuerstein. “And what an honour to share this day with the thousands of men and women who designed and built this airplane.”
The flight represents the beginning of a 600 hour flight test program that is due finish in the fourth quarter of this year.