The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental has
successfully commenced its flight test program. The 747-8
Intercontinental's first flight marks the beginning of a flight
test program that is scheduled to finish in the fourth quarter.
"What a great privilege to be at the controls of such a great
airplane on its first flight," said 747 Chief Pilot Mark
Feuerstein. "And what an honor
to share this day with the thousands of men and women who designed
and built this airplane."
The first test flight was the first of
more than 600 flight hours in the test program for the new 747-8
Intercontinental. The airplane followed a route over Eastern
Washington, where it underwent tests for basic handling and
performance. The airplane reached a cruising altitude of 19,000
feet (5,791 meters), and a speed of up to 250 knots, or about 288
miles per hour (463 kilometers).
"This a great day for the
747-8 team and for all of Boeing. What an honor it is to see such
a beautiful airplane fly," said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and
general manager of the 747-8 program. "I want to thank everybody
who had a hand in designing, building and preparing this airplane
for flight – our engineers, our manufacturing employees, our
colleagues in Boeing Fabrication, our colleagues in Boeing Test &
Evaluation, our external suppliers – for all their hard work."
The 747-8 Intercontinental will have 12% lower
seat-mile costs than
its predecessor, the 747-400. The airplane also provides 16%
better fuel economy, 16% less carbon emissions per
passenger and generates a 30% smaller noise footprint than
The 747-8 Intercontinental applies interior features
from the 787 Dreamliner that includes a new curved, upswept
architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and
comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings.
Korean Air and VIP customers have joined launch customer
in ordering a total of 33 747-8 Intercontinentals. First delivery
of the 747-8 Intercontinental is scheduled for the fourth quarter.
Air China also has agreed to order five Intercontinentals, pending
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