Boeing expects 747-8F certification shortly, minus some features

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Boeing expects to receive approval by the US Federal Aviation Administration within a "few weeks" on airworthiness certification data for the 747-8F, but it will come without several features originally promised.

Key features introduced by the Honeywell flight management computer (FMC), including 0.1nm required navigation performance (RNP) and "quiet climb" ascent profiles, have been deferred, said Mark Feuerstein, Boeing 747 chief test pilot.

Boeing's test team had to make "great strides" over the last three months, Feuerstein added, to deliver an FMC with functionality equivalent to the 747-400.

The vertical navigation mode, an autopilot function governing altitude changes, was among the baseline features that had to be fixed in the last three months, Feuerstein said.

"We were able to recover all of that and fly it very nicely," he said.

After completing flight tests on the freighter variant, Feuerstein's team is now focused on completing the data package for the 747-8I passenger variant.

"We're continuing the full-court press on the Intercontinental so the idea of being done is still a little ways out in the future," he said.