Boeing confirms 20 March target for 747-8I first flight

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Boeing has confirmed its 747-8 Intercontinental is slated to fly on Sunday 20 March, following a first flight readiness review expected later this week.

"Right now we're scheduled to fly the airplane for the first time this coming Sunday," says Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh.

Albaugh's comments came at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) in Scottsdale, Arizona.

RC001, the first 747-8I, has been conducting its flight line gauntlet checkout, a closed loop simulation of the aircraft's systems, at the company's Everett, Washington facility.

Two flight test aircraft are expected to accumulate 600 flight test hours in the lead-up to the new 467-seat jumbo's certification and delivery by the close of 2011.