Boeing is due to fly the third, and final, dedicated test aircraft in the 747-8F flight certification program sometime later this afternoon. The aircraft, RC521, is conducting taxi tests at Paine Field, Everett and – assuming there are no hitches – will fly in a few hours and join its sistership RC522 at Boeing Field, Seattle later this evening.
Boeing has also unveiled a 747-8 flight test website which is a useful source of flight test data, photos and videos. Definitely worth a visit!
RC501, the first 747-8F, continues to be used for stability and control flight tests based out of Moses Lake. The aircraft, which completed initial airworthiness tests earlier in March, is leading the way to type inspection authority (TIA). This milestone marks FAA verification of Boeing’s tests and the start of the full certification effort. RC522 meanwhile remains at Boeing Field undergoing ground tests on its gross weight center of gravity processor prior to re-entering flight tests.
RC522 became the second 747-8F to enter the test effort (Boeing)