Video: Boeing 747-8 Freighter successfully completes first flight

Feb 9, 2010 0

The Boeing 747-8 Freighter successfully took to the sky for the first time today before more than 5,000 employees, customers, suppliers and community leaders. The flight begins a test program for the world’s most efficient freighter.

With 747 Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstein and Capt. Tom Imrich in the flight deck, the newest member of the 747 family took off at 12:39 p.m. local time from Paine Field in Everett and landed at Paine Field at 4:18 p.m.

“It was a real privilege to be at the controls of this great airplane on its first flight, representing the thousands of folks who made today possible,” said Feuerstein. “The airplane performed as expected and handled just like a 747-400.”

Today’s flight was the first of more than 1,600 flight hours in the test program for the newest member of the Boeing freighter family. The airplane followed a route over Western Washington, where it underwent tests for basic handling qualities and engine performance. The airplane reached a cruising altitude of 17,000 feet (5,181 m) and a speed of up to 230 knots, or about 264 miles (426 km) per hour.

Powered by four General Electric GEnx-2B engines, the 747-8 Freighter will transition its testing program to Moses Lake, Wash., and Palmdale, Calif., where the other two test airplanes will join it in the coming month.

“This truly is a great day for The Boeing Company and the 747 program,” said Mo Yahyavi, 747 program general manager and vice president, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It’s the culmination of the hard work and dedication of our employees, suppliers and customers. While there is still much to do, I am excited to begin the flight-test program, which will demonstrate the capabilities of this airplane.”

The 747-8 Freighter is the new, high-capacity 747 that will give cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any freighter. The airplane is 250 feet, 2 inches (76.3 m) long, which is 18 feet, 4 inches (5.6 m) longer than the 747-400 Freighter. The stretch provides customers with 16 percent more revenue cargo volume compared with its predecessor. That translates to an additional four main-deck pallets and three lower-hold pallets.

“The 747-8 Freighter continues the leadership of the 747 Freighter families, which carries more than half of the world’s air freight, making it the standard of the air cargo industry,” Yahyavi said.


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Boeing completes 747-8 Freighter taxi tests – should fly tomorrow

Feb 7, 2010 0

Boeing completed taxi tests on the first 747-8 Freighter today. With Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstein at the controls, the airplane reached a top speed of approximately 90 knots (103.5 mph, 166.6 kph).

“The airplane performed well,” said Mo Yahyavi, 747 program vice president and general manager, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “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, 8th February.

To follow the first test flight live just click here. The fun starts from 10am (local time).

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Boeing delivers 4th KC-767 Tanker to Japan Ministry of Defense

Jan 12, 2010 0

The Boeing Company on January 8th delivered the last of four KC-767 aerial refueling tankers to the Japan Ministry of Defense, completing one of the International Tanker team’s most significant milestones.

Boeing’s partner on the Japan Tanker program, Itochu Corp., handed over the KC-767 advanced tanker to Japan Ministry of Defense officials. Assigned to the 1st Airlift Wing of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force at Komaki Air Base, it is the third consecutive KC-767 tanker to be delivered to Boeing’s Japan customer within the contracted schedule and budget.

“Providing Japan with the fourth and final KC-767 tanker on-schedule and on-cost, as we did the previous two KC-767s, means a great deal to our company and our relationship with this important customer,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “Because of these tankers, Japan now has the capability to perform vital self-defense, refueling and airlift missions. Also, when necessary, it possesses the capability to perform critical humanitarian and disaster-relief missions across the Pacific region and beyond using the KC-767.”

“We are proud to have been a partner in the successful delivery and implementation of the KC-767 aerial refueling tanker into the Japan Air Self-Defense Force,” said Greg Kasagawa, executive officer and COO of the Aerospace and Industrial Systems Division of Itochu Corp. “The fleet of tankers is playing a significant and key role in the strategic self-defense needs of Japan.”

The fourth tanker flew to Japan on Dec. 20 from Boeing’s tanker modification facility in Wichita, Kansas. The KC-767 is a military derivative of the proven 767-200ER commercial widebody airplane built at Boeing’s commercial production facilities in Everett, Washington.

Boeing delivered the first three KC-767 tankers to Japan in February 2008, March 2008 and March 2009.

The Japan KC-767 fleet is currently undergoing Operational Evaluation by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, a process that should be completed early this year. The fleet achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in March 2009.

The tanker has an open architecture cockpit and is configured with the advanced Boeing air refueling boom and the associated Remote Aerial Refueling Operator (RARO) II system. Japan selected the convertible freighter configuration, allowing it to carry cargo or passengers while maintaining its primary role as an aerial tanker. With a convertible freighter interior, the Japan tanker can be rapidly converted from all-passenger to all-cargo configurations.

Boeing also is on contract to deliver four KC-767s to the Italian Air Force. Three of the four tankers are in flight test, with the fourth airplane still being modified.

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Second Boeing 787 Dreamliner completes first flight

Dec 23, 2009 0

The second Boeing 787 Dreamliner, ZA002, completed its first flight today. The all-new airplane, which features the livery of the Dreamliner’s launch customer, ANA (All Nippon Airways) of Japan, took off from Paine Field in Everett, completed a two-hour flight and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle.

“We are delighted that the second Dreamliner is in the livery of our launch customer, ANA,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “We are honored by the airline’s support and look forward to delivering ANA the first production airplane next year.”

Captain Randy Neville was at the controls for the flight, with Chief Pilot Mike Carriker operating as co-pilot. Neville and Carriker took the airplane to an altitude of 13,000 feet (3,962 m) and an airspeed of 200 knots, or about 230 miles (370 km) per hour. The airplane took off at 9:09 a.m. PST and landed at 11:10 a.m. PST.

This is the second of six 787s being used in the airplane’s flight-test program. Each of the airplanes will be used for a specific set of tests, with this airplane focusing on systems performance. Like its predecessor, ZA001, the airplane is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

“We would like to convey our sincere congratulations to the Boeing team for its achievement of this milestone, and we look forward to the delivery into our fleet next year,” said Shinichiro Ito, president and CEO of ANA.

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