US airframer Boeing (NYSE: BA) said that one of its 747-8 Intercontinental jets has successfully completed its first test flight this week with a package of performance improvements including enhanced GE engines. This package is designed to improve the fuel efficiency of the jetliner.
With Boeing flight test and evaluation Capt Kirk Vining and chief pilot Capt. Mark Feuerstein at the controls, the airplane took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle approximately four hours later.
The airplane Performance Improvement Package includes improvements to the GEnx-2B engines and Flight Management Computer software.
Boeing said its continuous efforts to improve the 747-8 family have resulted in an accumulated 1.5% gain in fuel efficiency since the first airplane was delivered less than two years ago. These new improvements will give operators an airplane that is an additional 1.8% more efficient, the company said.
The test programme will also validate the design changes and demonstrate the operation of the horizontal tank fuel system on the passenger version of the 747-8, which was deferred from the initial deliveries. The new configuration will first deliver in early 2014 and be available for retrofit. Entry into service of the new engines and FMC software will take place in late 2013.
Find out more at www.boeing.com.
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