March 21, 2011

Boeing 747-8 Makes First Successful Test Flight

Boeing's new 747-8 passenger jet made its first flight on Sunday, becoming the largest passenger jet to ever hit the skies.

The 747-8 Intercontinental flight left Boeing's Everett assembly line facility at 9:58 a.m., landing about four hours later at Seattle's Boeing Field.

"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," Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager of the 747-8 program, said in a statement.

"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 jet was officially unveiled to the public last month and will now begin a series of test flights.  According to FlightGlobal.com, Boeing hopes to receive certification for the jet in time to deliver the first one by year's end.

The Seattle Times reported that the 747-8 that took flight on Sunday will be the first passenger model delivered. 

The Associated Press reports that Chief test pilot Captain Mark Feuerstein says the flight was clean and that the airplane is "ready to go fly right now."

"What a great privilege to be at the controls of such a great airplane on its first flight," Feuerstein said in a Boeing press release. "And what an honor to share this day with the thousands of men and women who designed and built this airplane."

Boeing said the 747-8 will be able to carry up to 467 passengers and have a range of about 7,000 miles.


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