Sunday, March 20 appears to be solidifying for the first flight of Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC001, say several sources. On Tuesday, the aircraft underwent its first engine start of its four General Electric GEnx-2B engines on the flight line at the company's Everett, Washington facility.
The March 20 date is not official target confirmed by Boeing, but rather internal guidance that appears to provide a solid window around which to conduct the aircraft's maiden sortie.
Sources say the engine start came two days earlier than scheduled indicating a rapidly growing pace toward's the new jumbo's maiden flight.
Still left of the jumbo's agenda are the flight line gauntlet testing, a closed-loop simulation of the aircraft's systems, as well as low and high-speed taxi testing.