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Tue, Feb 09, 2010

Aero-TV: Boeing’s 747-8 First Flight – New Freighter Takes to the Skies

Chief Pilot Feuerstein and Captain Imrich Successfully Complete Flight Plan

On February 8th, 2010, almost two months after the Dreamliner’s historic first flight, Boeing made history once again as the new 747-8 Freighter took to the skies for the first time.  Over 5,000 Boeing employees, customers, suppliers, and community leaders gathered in Everett, Washington, as the 421,200lb aircraft (empty weight) lifted from the Paine Field runway.

747 Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstien and Captain Tom Imrich commanded the flight deck as the Freighter took off at 12:39 p.m. local time on its first of more than 1,600 flight hours in the test program.    Reaching a cruising altitude of 17,000 feet and a speed of up to 230 knots, the 747-8 underwent tests for basic handling qualities and engine performance.  At the post-flight news conference, held after the aircraft landed at 4:18 p.m., Chief Pilot Feuerstein reported that the pilots were able to accomplish everything on the flight plan and every test condition went well.

The 747-8 Freighter represents a significant evolution from the 747-400 for the Boeing Company.  Despite the similar handling, the aircraft has several fundamental changes from its predecessor including entirely new wing design. 

The aircraft is 18.3 feet longer than the 747-400 Freighter, providing customers with 16 percent more cargo volume.  In addition, the aircraft’s four new General Electric GEnx-2B engines produce lower emissions and better fuel economy, achieving 16 percent lower ton-mile costs than the 747-400.  Currently, Boeing has 76 orders for the 747-8 Freighter and 32 orders for the 747-8 Intercontinental passenger version.



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