Boeing 747-8 Completes First Flight

By Tish Drake | February 9, 2010
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The Boeing 747-8 Freighter completed its 3 1/2-hour maiden flight Monday in Everett, Wash. During the flight, the airplane underwent tests for basic handling qualities and engine performance. The airplane reached a cruising altitude of 17,000 feet and a speed of up to 230 knots, or about 264 miles per hour. The 747-8 Freighter will transition its testing program to Moses Lake, Wash., and Palmdale, Calif., where the other two test airplanes will join it in the coming month, Boeing said.

"It was a real privilege to be at the controls of this great airplane on its first flight, representing the thousands of folks who made today possible," said 747 Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstein Feuerstein. "The airplane performed as expected and handled just like a 747-400."

Rockwell Collins supplies the avionics for the freighter, including autopilot, communication, navigation, surveillance, maintenance, emergency and data management systems.

All told, Boeing said it has secured 108 orders for the 747-8, of which 76 are orders for the new freighter. Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air all have ordered the 747-8 Freighter.

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