Boeing confirms the first round of gauntlet testing will start by end-week on the 747-8I Intercontinental, moving the passenger version of the widebody one step closer to entering flight tests.

The factory gauntlet is a closed-loop simulation of all onboard systems operating together for the first time. The milestone event includes checks of both power systems and flight controls.

The test follows the power-on milestone in early November for the 747-8I's 105kVA-rated electrical system.

The 747-8I is scheduled to complete the final assembly process before 1 April, with first delivery to an unidentified, VIP customer planned by end-year.

Boeing is currently in flight tests with the 747-8 Freighter model, which has approached 1,500h of flight tests since first flight on 9 February last year.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news