Boeing has announced the completion of flight test certification for its 747-8 Freighter, as the company moves closer to making its first delivery of the type next month.
Test aircraft RC522 and RC523 arrived at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, on Tuesday, after completing flight management computer (FMC) and maximum endurance testing as part of the 300 flight hour function & reliability (F&R) validation program. Indeed, RC523’s final, 17+ hour maximum endurance flight, saw it trace the numerals ‘7-4-7’ in the skies above the US, as this FlightAware.com flightplan track captured by Flightblogger shows.
Boeing vice president and general manager, 747 program, Elizabeth Lund said completion of flight test certification was an important step for the new freighter, with the company now on “the home stretch in delivering this airplane to our customers”.
Boeing will now make its final paperwork submission to the US FAA, clearing the way for type certification to be issued before the first 747-8F delivery to launch customer Cargolux in September. According to Boeing, the GEnx-2B powered fleet of five 747-8Fs have so far flown more than 1200 flights and 3400 hours since the type’s maiden flight on February 8 2010.