Feuerstein, will captain the first flight. He was at the controls of the first 747-8F (RC501) yesterday as it underwent some final rigorous tests as the new Jumbo is prepared to fly. These closed-loop “gauntlet” tests trick the systems into believing the aircraft is flying, and test the responses.
With over 7,000 flying hours, Feuerstein was previously assistant chief pilot for both the 747 and 787 programmes and has also served as Boeing’s deputy military/special projects pilot. This saw him flight-testing various military derivatives of commercial aircraft such as the KC/RC-135, E-6 and E-767.
Once gauntlet tests are complete, RC501 will be prepared for taxi tests and then its first flight, which could take place before the end of January. The test program will involve three 747-8Fs and the bulk of the flying will be operated from Palmdale in California. Certification and first delivery to Cargolux is due before year-end.
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