The Boeing 747-8 Freighter took to the air for its first flight today from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 12:39 p.m. PST, marking the start of a flight-test program scheduled to last until near the end of this year. The first of three 747-8 prototypes built for the program took off some two and a half hours later than originally planned due to a low cloud ceiling over Paine Field this morning.
For Boeing employees watching the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner on December 15, there was a palpable sense of relief and joy when test pilots Mike Carriker and Randy Neville lifted 787 ZA001 off the wet runway at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. ZA002, in livery of launch customer All Nippon Airways, made its first flight about a week later, on December 22.
Greenpoint Technologies’ design team has released its concept for a ground-to-main deck elevator for executive versions of the Boeing 747-8.
The elevator, according to the Kirkland, Wash.-based completion center, “is capable of transporting passengers from the ground to the main deck, providing an elegant and secure method to board the aircraft.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes faced fresh questions over its ability to stick to program timelines again last month.
Boeing has identified, approved and started the process of implementing a weight-reduction effort that will shave some 3,500 pounds from the 747-8, program head Mohammad “Mo” Yahyavi told AIN last week. “This is like any development program; your first article airplanes are slightly heavier than you want them to be,” conceded Yahyavi. “At this point we are working with our suppliers.
Less than three months ago, on March 24, General Electric’s newest engine, the GEnx-2B, took to the air on the company’s Boeing 747 flying test bed, marking another milestone in the development of its latest and most advanced civil powerplant.
Boeing Business Jet (Booth No. 7051) expanded its product line of ultra-large business jets with modifications targeted at the smallest and largest of its models–“smallest” being relative only to airliner-size business aircraft.
Pratt & Whitney this spring held a media event at its Hartford, Connecticut headquarters and provided an overview of its milestones and advances in environmental cleanliness and so on. Some samples:
Earlier this year, AMAC Aerospace started operating from its new hangar at Euro Airport near Basel, Switzerland. The new business aviation services group has been able to implement initial plans exactly as announced a year ago at EBACE’08.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney today revealed a further delay of the 747-8 Intercontinental, from the second quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of that year. Speaking during the company’s first-quarter earnings call this morning, McNerney blamed the estimated six-month delay on the “softening freighter market and the resulting decision to delay a planned increase in 747 production.”