747-8 Freighter taxi test
Today the first 747-8 Freighter, N747EX
(cn 35808/1420), moved under it's own power and performed a series of
high and low speed taxi tests on Paine Field's runway 16R/34L. Yours
truly was there expecting the plane to be on the runway at 0845, but
instead the folks at the Lazy B got their plane out onto the runway a
little after 1330. The plane, using the callsign Boeing 501 Heavy
Experimental, went out on the runway three times over a period of two
hours. According to my count, the plane did three high
speed taxi tests, where the plane gets up to ~80 knots and then slam on the brakes. After each high speed taxi test the plane has to sit on the taxiway for 15-30 minutes to allow the brakes to cool down.
According to a press release from Boeing , taxi tests for the 747-8F are complete and the airplane is ready for it's first flight on Monday morning.