Boeing began flutter testing Friday to evaluate the aeroelastic stability of the first 747-8 Intercontinental, as the aircraft advances toward its type inspection authorization (TIA), which will formally kick off the Federal Aviation Administration's involvement in certification flight tests, the company confirms.
Matt Cawby's KPAE blog captured RC001, Boeing's first 747-8I, at 32,000ft in the flutter track high above Washington state on its first day of flutter testing. Company sources say the aircraft achieved a Mach .96 cruise at 35,000ft during the first day of testing. According to audio of the test, the outboard aileron modal suppression system (OAMS) was tested on RC001, which was absent during the aircraft's first flight.
Coincidentally, flutter testing for the 747-8F began almost exactly one year ago, coming eight weeks after the new freighter's first flight. As an indication of the new jet's maturity, Boeing has begun flutter testing roughly 20 days after its March 20 first flight.
Additionally, RC503 has ferried to Keflavik, Iceland for crosswind and limit wind testing, while RC001 continues runway performance and max brake energy tests in Palmdale after leaving Edwards Air Force Base.
For the 787, program sources say ZA003 is conducting "build-up" testing in preparation for extended operations (ETOPS) and system functionality and reliability (F&R) testing. Early tests have focused on power cooling and single-engine operations.