Boeing has rolled the last two MD-11 trijets out of its Long Beach site in California, and has flown the penultimate aircraft to Seattle for flight tests of a new flight management system for Lufthansa's cargo fleet.
The test aircraft arrived at Boeing Field on 3 October and was fitted with test instruments and safety equipment for the flight tests, which began soon after arrival.
They are aimed at certificating the Honeywell Pegasus 920 flight management computer system which is future air navigation system capable.
Boeing says the Pegasus system will be available for retrofit and will be offered as a "change item" following certification. Saudi Airlines has already requested that the system be retrofitted.
As the Lufthansa aircraft is a General Electric CF6-80C2 powered model, a separate flight test effort, though shorter in span than the current Seattle-based exercise, will be carried out later this year with a leased Pratt & Whitney-powered version, says Boeing.
Following test work, theCF6-80 powered aircraft will be refurbished and is scheduled to be delivered with the last MD-11 by early February.
Source: Flight International