I wanted to catch you up on some further flight test developments - namely, that we successfully completed the 2nd test flight of the first 747-8 Freighter earlier in the week.
With Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstein and Capt. Tom Imrich at the controls, the flight concluded at Moses Lake - marking the start of the planned transition to remote locations for the 747-8 flight test program.
The 747-8 Freighter makes a turn during first flight on February 8.
This 2nd flight also happened to mark a “first” worth chronicling. Capt. Imrich flew the first GLS approach ever accomplished on a 747 of any type.
GLS (Global positioning Landing System), or more accurately speaking, GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), uses simple ground based augmentation to fine tune signals from navigation satellites – similar to GPS and other systems.
GLS approach capability is critical to continued improvements in efficient air traffic management and it represents a great advancement in safety and economy over existing approach types - yet pilots can fly it using the same procedures as a common ILS (Instrument Landing System).
Meantime, from this point on, the 747-8 will be based mainly at Moses Lake and in Palmdale, California. As you might remember, we put this plan in place to ease capacity at Boeing Field. This makes better use of our resources while both the 747-8 and 787 are in simultaneous flight test.
Moses Lake testing will focus on flutter and initial airworthiness. At the conclusion of that portion of testing, the program moves down to Palmdale.
We’ll have 3 airplanes in the 747-8 Freighter flight testing – for a total of about 3,700 hours of flight and ground tests.