As expected, the third Boeing 747-8F, RC521, successfully completed its first flight today. It is the final test aircraft scheduled to participate in the flight-test program for the 747-8 Freighter. Boeing says RC521 was crewed by Captains Paul Stemer and Keith Otsuka, with Ralph Chaffin serving as systems operator.
RC 521 took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., and completed a two-and-a-half-hour flight before landing at Boeing Field in Seattle.
During the flight the 747-8F reached an altitude of 30,000-ft. and an airspeed of 245 knots, or about 282 mph (Boeing)
The first 747-8F is meanwhile set to begin stall tests today (Mar 18) at high gross weight, forward center-of-gravity conditions. Yesterday the crew celebrated St Patrick’s day high over eastern Washington by conducting more stability and control tests at the same heavy, forward cg condition. The second aircraft, RC522 (and the third to be built), currently remains on the ground at Boeing Field where work continues on internal test equipment prior to it being returned to the test effort. Altogether the three aircraft are expected to perform approximately 3,700 hrs of flight and ground testing.