Boeing tests fifth 747-8F

ALMOST exactly one year after its maiden flight the Boeing 747-8F took off for the fifth round of tests on 3 February.

The freighter, coded as RC523, took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, for a three-hour and 30-minute flight before returning to Paine Field, home of its maiden voyage.

In addition to an hour of engineering testing, the flight included a standard two-hour and 30-minute B1 flight profile, which Boeing conducts on all production airplanes prior to delivery.

Andy Hammer, test programme manager for 747-8, said the freighter performed well.

Boeing’s second test aircraft in late February 2010 examined new navigation equipment. Boeing discovered a buffet problem with the third test aircraft, involving turbulence coming off the landing gear doors interfering with the inboard flaps. The fourth -8F aircraft was used to conduct the non-instrumented or minimally-instrumented tests.

The 747-8F programme is due to complete all flight tests in time to enter air cargo service with first customer Cargolux by mid-year.

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