Boeing 747-8F tests move to Palmdale

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Boeing has brought its second 747-8 Freighter, RC521, to Palmdale, California for the next phase of tests.

The move from Seattle, Washington, marks the start of a planned transition of 747-8F testing to southern California, says Boeing. During the flight from Seattle, Boeing conducted testing on avionics and cruise performance.

"Taking the airplane to Palmdale is a big step," says Mo Yahyavi, vice-president and general manager of the 747 program. "The team is focused on ensuring a seamless transition into the next phase of the flight-test programme as we prepare to expand testing of the 747-8 Freighter's performance characteristics."

Boeing will conduct several tests at Palmdale, with fuel-mileage and engine-performance testing as key focus areas. This will allow it to meet the flight-test requirements needed to obtain the amended type certification, says the airframer.

In the coming weeks, the two other 747-8 airplanes in the flight-test fleet will join RC521 in southern California. The entire flight-test programme calls for the three aircraft to perform a total of about 3,700 hours of ground and air testing.

Delivery of the first 747-8F to Cargolux is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2010.