On the back of final approvals from the US and European regulators for its 747-8 freighter model, Boeing has begun certification evaluations of its passenger 747-8 Intercontinental.

Todd Zarfos, vice-president of 747 programme engineering, said the airframer is progressing through flutter and stability and control (S&C) evaluations to tune the aircraft's flight control laws with federal regulators looking on.

"We're very happy with the progress we've made. It's shaping up to be a very good test programme," said Zarfos during a media call held to discuss the award of US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency certification of the 747-8F.

Further, Zarfos says the airframer has completed cabin air flow balancing tests of the type's 467-seat cabin.

The airframer began testing of the 747-8I on 20 March and expects certification and first delivery of the 747-8I to a VIP completion centre for outfitting as a Boeing Business Jet at the end of the year, with first delivery of a passenger version to Lufthansa in early 2012.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news