Boeing has finished initial airworthiness testing on the 747-8 Freighter, the company announced today. The milestone allows test engineers to fly aboard future flights and the remaining pair of test airplanes to begin flight test.
Boeing has awarded a nine-year contract to Atlas Air for the operation of the manufacturer’s four Dreamlifter cargo haulers starting “toward the latter part of 2010,” spelling the end of Evergreen International Airlines’ three-year stint flying the modified 747-400s. At that time Atlas Air will assume responsibility for delivering major 787 assemblies from suppliers around the world to Boeing production facilities in the U.S.
The first Boeing 747-8 performed its second test flight on schedule yesterday, exactly two weeks after completing its February 8 maiden journey. The aircraft flew from Boeing Field in Seattle to Moses Lake, Wash., where plans call for flight test crews to perform initial airworthiness and flutter tests into next month, according to a Boeing spokesman.
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.