Boeing 747-8 Freighter To Make First Flight Today <


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Boeing 747-8 Freighter To Make First Flight Today

By Mike Mitchell

February 8, 2010 – On Saturday Boeing completed taxi tests on the 747-8 Freighter reaching a top seed of approximately 90 knots (103.5 mph, 166.6 kph), with Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstein at the controls. "The airplane performed well," said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 program. "Based on early indications, the airplane is ready to fly." This was the last functional test planned before first flight. The first flight of the 747-8 Freighter is scheduled for Monday, February 8th

Back on December 9th Boeing successfully completed the first engine runs for the 747-8 Freighter. The milestone marked another step in the 747 program's steady progress in preparing for flight test. "We are very pleased with the engines' performance during this test," said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 program. "The engines and all the systems performed as expected." 


During initial engine runs, the engines were started and operated at various power settings to ensure all systems perform as expected. The engine run test began with the auxiliary power system providing power to start the first of four General Electric GEnx-2B engines. The remaining three engines were started using the cross-bleed function.

Basic systems checks continued throughout the test. The engines were powered down and inspected and will be restarted following a technical review. The team completed a vibration check and monitored the shutdown logic to ensure it functioned as expected. 

"This milestone is an exciting one for the GEnx-2B team and we anticipate the engines will continue the same high performance that we have experienced in our ground and flight tests," said Tom Brisken, general manager of the GEnx Program at GE Aviation. The GEnx-2B engine is optimized for the 747-8. It helps provide improved fuel efficiency, reductions in emissions and noise and a lower cost of ownership. 

Korean Air announced an order for five Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jetliners. Korean Air is the first Asian airline to order the passenger version of the new, fuel-efficient 747-8. The airplanes have a total average list price value of $1.5 billion. Korean Air already has arrangements to operate seven 747-8 Freighters. 


"This is a great day in the history of our long and enduring partnership with Korean Air," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The technologically advanced 747-8 Intercontinental is particularly well suited for Korean Air's operations. It will provide exceptional levels of passenger comfort, greatly enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced emissions and noise. The announcement comes at an exciting time as we move closer to the first 747-8 Freighter flight in early 2010." Korean Air plans on flying the 747-8 Intercontinental on long-haul routes to the Americas and Europe. 

"The 747-8 Intercontinental fills the void between the 300- and 550-seat airplanes in our future fleet," said Won Tae Cho, managing vice president of Korean Air Passenger Business Division. "The technological enhancements Boeing has made to this airplane will deliver exceptional economics and a flying experience that will thrill our customers, enabling Korean Air to provide Excellence in Flight to our customers."  

The new 747-8 Intercontinental is stretched 18.3 feet (5.6 m) from the 747-400 to provide 467 seats in a three-class configuration, an additional 51 seats. It also offers a range of 8,000 nautical miles (14,815 km). The 747-8 will provide lower seat mile costs of 13 percent less than the 747-400, plus 26 percent greater cargo volume.  

The 747-8 also features a new wing design and an upgraded flight deck. The airplane interior incorporates features from the 787 Dreamliner, including a new curved, upswept architecture that will give passengers a greater sense of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings. The architecture will be accentuated by lighting technology that provides smooth transitions for a more restful flight.  

With the addition of the Korean Air order, Boeing has secured 110 orders for the 747-8. Thirty-two of the orders are for the 747-8 Intercontinental, and the remaining 78 are for the 747-8 Freighter. 

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