The Boeing 747-8 Freighter successfully took to the sky for the first time Monday Feb. 8.
With 747 Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstein and Capt. Tom Imrich in the flight deck, the newest member of the 747 family took off at 12:39 p.m. local time from Paine Field in Everett and landed at Paine Field at 4:18 p.m.
This flight was the first of more than 1,600 flight hours in the test program for the newest member of the Boeing freighter family. The airplane followed a route over Western Washington, where it underwent tests for basic handling qualities and engine performance. The airplane reached a cruising altitude of 17,000 feet (5,181 m) and a speed of up to 230 knots, or about 264 miles (426 km) per hour.
Powered by four General Electric GEnx-2B engines, the 747-8 Freighter will transition its testing program to Moses Lake, Wash., and Palmdale, Calif., where the other two test airplanes will join it in the coming month.
Boeing launched the airplane on Nov. 14, 2005, with firm orders for 18 747-8 Freighters: 10 from Cargolux of Luxembourg and eight from Nippon Cargo Airlines of Japan. All told, Boeing has secured 108 orders for the 747-8, of which 76 are orders for the new freighter. Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air all have ordered the 747-8 Freighter.
South African low-fare airline kulula.com recently came up with a brand-new, funny livery. One of their Boeing 737-86N (ZS-ZWP / OK-PIK), called “Flying 101” is entirely covered with details and funny remarks about the plane.
Photos – by Malcolm Nason
The captain’s window is marked with the big cheese (“captain, my captain!”), the co-pilot’s window with co-captain (the other pilot on the PA system) and the jump seat is for wannabe pilots.
In addition, the following descriptions of plane parts can be found:
galley (cuppa anyone?)
avionics (fancy navigation stuff)
windows (best view in the world)
wing #1 and #2
engine #1 and #2 (26 000 pounds of thrust)
emergency exit = throne zone (more leg room baby!)
seats (better than taxi seats)
some windows = kulula fans (the coolest peeps in the world)
Today the prototype of the first Russian fifth generation jet fighter, the Sukhoi PAK-FA T-50 successfully completed its first flight!
“In the course of the flight we’ve conducted initial evaluation of the aircraft controllability, engine performance and primary systems operation, the aircraft had retracted and extracted the landing gear. The aircraft performed excellently at all flight-test points scheduled for today. It is easy and comfortable to pilot”, – said the pilot Sergey Bogdan.
The current prototype is fully developed and intended to replace the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker in the Russian inventory and serve as the basis of the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA project being developed with India. As fifth generation jet fighter, it is designed to directly compete with the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.
Almost one year after the famous US Airways 1549 New York Hudson River emergency landing, Airbus A320-214 N106US (S/N 1044) was put on auction recently. The auction closes March 27 and is open to the general public. Bids can be submitted online. The wreckage is currently stored in Kearny, NJ – wings, vertical and horizontal stabilizers have been separated from the fuselage, the engines are not included in the sale.
On Tuesday night, Boeing moved the first 747-8 Freighter out of the paint hangar, sporting a special “light” livery.
Painted white with blue accents, the 747-8 Freighter unveiled a new twist on the Boeing Commercial Airplanes livery. It features an oversized “8” on the background of the tail as well as “747-8” on the belly.
The light livery, which saves time and expense compared to the full Boeing livery, will remain on the airplane until the flight-test program is completed. After flight test, it will be refurbished and delivered to a customer.
The first freighter will begin preparing for the necessary tests leading up to first flight in early 2010.
The 747-8 Freighter is the new high-capacity 747 that will give cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. It is 250 feet, 2 inches (76.3 m) long, which is 18 feet and 4 inches (5.6 m) longer than the 747-400 Freighter. The stretch provides customers with 16 percent more revenue cargo volume compared to its predecessor. That translates to four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets.
Boeing has secured 105 orders for the 747-8 from Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air.
Boeing today announced that they have completed installing reinforcements within the side-of-body section on the first 787 Dreamliner.
The modification entails installing new fittings at 34 stringer locations within the joint where the wing is attached to the fuselage. Installations were completed yesterday.
Boeing expects to complete the installations on the static test airframe and the second flight-test airplane in the coming days.
After airplane No. 1 is restored, the flight-test team will perform another set of gauntlet and taxi tests to ensure that all systems are ready for flight. Fancher noted that with the exception of a single high-speed taxi test, all remaining first flight activities have been successfully completed on the first flight-test airplane.
First flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is still scheduled for the end of this year.
The first Airbus A330-200 Freighter is seen here in preparation for ground tests in advance of its maiden flight scheduled for November 2009.
The most notable visual difference to the passenger version is a bulge on the bottom of the fuselage right above the nose gear. To overcome the cool looking standard A330’s nose-down body angle on the ground, unfortunately the A330F makes use of a revised nose landing gear layout. 🙁 The same leg will be used, however it will be attached lower in the fuselage, requiring a distinctive blister fairing on the nose to accommodate the retracted nose-gear.
The A330-200F received its industrial go-ahead in January 2007. The first A330-200F has been rolled out in Toulouse on October 20, 2009.
The A330-200F is a mid-size, long-haul all-cargo aircraft capable of carrying 64 tonnes over 4,000 NM / 7,400 km, or 69 tonnes up to 3,200 NM / 5,930 km. It introduces a new versatile main-deck cargo loading system that will be able to accommodate both pallets and containers. Several different arrangements will be possible on the main deck, taking up to 23 Side-by-Side (SBS) pallets, aimed at the high volume, high value commodities or Single Row (SR) loading of 16 pallets (96 in X 96 in X 125 in SR pallets) and/or nine AMA containers aimed at the general cargo higher density markets.
Power is provided by two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.
As of 1 January 2009, Airbus had 65 firm orders from nine customers: Aircastle (7), BOC Aviation (5), Etihad Airways (3), Flyington Freighters (12), Guggenheim Aviation Partners (2), Intrepid Aviation Group (20), MatlinPatterson (6), MNG Airlines (2), and OH, Avion LLC (8). Additionally ACT Airlines has signed an MOU for 2. The first delivery will be to Flyington Freighters in Spring 2010.
Boeing continues to make progress on the assembly of the 747-8 Freighter, as mechanics completed the installation of the new GEnx-2B engines on airplane No. 1 in final assembly at the factory in Everett, Wash.
The GEnx-2B continues its progress through its engine certification testing. It recently completed the first phase of flight testing on GE’s 747 flying testbed.
The GEnx-2B is based on the GEnx-1B engine launched with the 787 Dreamliner. The GEnx-2B engine has been designed for the 747-8 and rated at 66,500 pounds of thrust.
With the GEnx-2B engines, the 747-8 Freighter will be 17 percent more fuel efficient than the 747-400 Freighter, resulting in a 17-percent reduction in carbon emissions. It also will have a noise footprint that is 30 percent smaller than its predecessor, making it a QC2-compliant airplane on both departure and arrival.
The 747-8 Freighter is expected to make its first flight in the fourth quarter of this year, with first delivery scheduled for the third quarter of 2010. Boeing has secured 78 orders for the new 747-8 Freighter. Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air all have placed firm orders for the airplane.
Lockheed Martin recently released photos showing the inside of their new Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory (AML). The Lockheed Martin AML is based on the Gulfstream III business jet and will be used “to tailor advanced sensor combinations to resolve specific military, strategic intelligence and homeland security mission needs.”
The plane features a computing capability that supports most commercial operating systems, a radome on the belly of the aircraft with ample volume for a range of sensors, and four workstations. In addition, the AML can process data both onboard and on the ground to accommodate a variety of experiments. While the AML is equipped with a robust suite of sensors as well as wideband and narrowband data links, the intent is to rotate sensors as necessary to answer specific requirements. To achieve that goal, the AML incorporates an easily reconfigurable architecture designed to allow different sensors and equipment to be rapidly integrated into the aircraft’s mission systems.
The airborne test bed received its Experimental Airworthiness Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday.