First flight of the 747-8!
The -8 Freighter took to the skies at 12:39 p.m. Seattle time on Monday, February 8, 2010.
It’s all just a little bittersweet for me. Obviously, I worked hard in my previous role to sell this airplane, and I’m extremely excited to see it flying. But since I’m still in Asia following the Singapore Air Show, and visiting customers, I didn’t get to see this historic flight in person.
Nonetheless, I’m sure I’ll get to see this great airplane fly many times in the future as we begin our flight test program. 747 Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstein and Capt. Tom Imrich were at the controls for the test flight - the first of more than 1,600 flight hours coming up.
On approach back to Paine Field at the conclusion of first flight.
Touch down at 4:18 p.m.
At the conclusion of the flight, Feuerstein told reporters that the new 747-8 Freighter reached a speed of 230 knots (264 mph/426 kph) and an altitude of 17,000 feet (5,181 meters). He said the airplane handled just like a 747-400.
As Feuerstein put it, “a big day for a big airplane.”