AMERICAS: Boeing 747-8 Freighter reaches next test phase

Boeing has received expanded type inspection authorisation (TIA) from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its new 747-8 Freighter which clears the way for FAA personnel to participate in test flights and collect required data. “This is a major step in our effort to test and certify the 747-8 Freighter for our customers,” said […]


Boeing has received expanded type inspection authorisation (TIA) from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its new 747-8 Freighter which clears the way for FAA personnel to participate in test flights and collect required data.

“This is a major step in our effort to test and certify the 747-8 Freighter for our customers,” said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager for the 747 programme, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The airplane is performing well in the tests. We have demonstrated the airplane’s readiness to move onto the next stage in the flight-test programme through tests at a variety of speeds, altitudes and configurations.”

With the issuance of TIA, the 747-8 will be put through the extremes of the flight envelope with testing conditions including operations in hot and cold weather, as well as takeoffs and landings at high-altitude airports. In addition, over-speed conditions, hard landings and engine-out conditions are tested.

“The airplane is handling beautifully,” said Mark Feuerstein, 747 programme chief pilot, Boeing Test and Evaluation. “It is a joy to fly.” The first 747-8 Freighter delivery is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.

Meanwhile , Boeing began fuselage assembly of the first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger variant with mechanics loading panels for the 9.6 metre long nose of the new aircraft into the assembly tool. The panels are part of section 41, the area of the fuselage that houses the flight deck on the upper deck and the forward passenger cabin on the main deck. The first 747-8 Intercontinental is scheduled for delivery in late 2011.