Boeing has targeted 8 February for the maiden sortie of its 747-8 Freighter, one day shy of the 41st anniversary of the type's first first in 1969.
The company says that the first flight window will open at 10:00 PST (1800 GMT).
Sources close to the programme say that taxi tests are planned for Saturday and Sunday before the new freighter is cleared to fly on Monday, at which point weather will be the deciding factor for the green light to fly.
© Jim Larsen
Chief project pilot Mark Feuerstein and engineering test pilot Tom Imrich will take the first 747-8F, designated RC501, on it's first flight from Paine Field at the company's Everett, Washington facility.
The first flight will kick off a certification campaign that will culminate in the first delivery to Luxembourg-based Cargolux in the fourth quarter of 2010.