Boeing's fifth and final 747-8 freighter flight test aircraft joined the company's development effort on 3 February following a 3h and 30min flight from Paine Field in Everett, Washington.

The aircraft, dubbed RC532, undertook a standard Boeing "B1" production flight, that included "1h of engineering testing woven into the profile", says the airframer.

Andy Hammer, test programme manager for the 747-8 says: "The airplane performed well. It was a fine start to the test plan for this airplane."


RC523 will focus on system functionality and reliability testing and will be based at the company's Everett facility throughout its testing.

Boeing announced its plans to add a fifth 747-8F test aircraft to the fleet in September when it disclosed a six-month slip of first delivery to Luxembourg-based Cargolux, following required redesign of the aircraft's inboard aileron actuators as well as development of a modal suppression system to dampen out a 2.4hz oscillation.

First delivery of the new freighter is now expected mid-year.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news