9 MAY 2011
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Following good progress with the 787 certification programme Boeing has confirmed that a second passenger 747-8 Intercontinental has made its maiden flight. During the inaugural sortie the aircraft reached an altitude of 28,000 feet (8534m) and airspeed of 275 knots, or about 316 miles (509km) per hour. RC021 will be used primarily for testing the various interior systems that will be on the Intercontinental, such as heating, venting and air conditioning, smoke detection and galleys. In addition, Boeing will conduct fuel consumption and function and reliability tests on the aeroplane. The 747-8I programme will perform approximately 600 hours of flight testing.
Not only is the new aircraft 18ft longer than the series 400, it will also be instantly recognisable with its larger windows, similar to those in the 777. The interior is very much 787.
With an average 400 series aircraft now offering less than 400 seats, the new aeroplane in a typical three-class operation carries around 467. The aircraft provides 16% better fuel economy, 16% less carbon emissions per passenger and generates a footprint two-thirds less than the 747-400. www.boeing.com/commercial
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