Boeing 748 makes first flight

The Boeing 747-8 Freighter successfully took to the sky for the first time on 8 February before more than 5000 employees, customers, suppliers and community leaders.


The flight began a test program for what Boeing says is the world's most efficient freighter.


With 747 Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstein and Captain Tom Imrich in the flight deck, the newest member of the 747 family took off at 12:39 p.m. local time from Paine Field in Everett and landed at Paine Field at 4:18 p.m.


"It was a real privilege to be at the controls of this great airplane on its first flight, representing the thousands of folks who made today possible," said Feuerstein. "The airplane performed as expected and handled just like a 747-400."


The flight was the first of more than 1600 flight hours in the test program for the newest member of the Boeing freighter family.


The airplane followed a route over Western Washington, where it underwent tests for basic handling qualities and engine performance.


The airplane reached a cruising altitude of 17,000 feet (5,181 m) and a speed of up to 230 knots, or about 264 miles (426 km) per hour.