Boeing 747-8 Freighter To Make First Flight Today
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
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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