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Originally published June 14, 2010 at 1:09 PM | Page modified June 15, 2010 at 8:03 AM

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Boeing 747-8 gets initial flight-worthiness OK from FAA

Boeing announced Monday that its newest 747 jumbo jet has successfully completed the initial flight-worthiness phase of flight testing. On Friday, the Federal Aviation...

Boeing announced Monday that its newest 747 jumbo jet has successfully completed the initial flight-worthiness phase of flight testing.

On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave Boeing expanded type inspection authorization, a formal milestone that allows FAA personnel to fly on board future test flights along with Boeing technicians who will collect required data.

After the new 747-8 model's first flight in February, Boeing test pilots flew test flights of this largest version of the iconic humped wide-body airplane out of Moses Lake in central Washington. In April, Boeing began shifting the base of operations for 747-8 flight tests to Palmdale, Calif. Two of the three test planes are now in California.

Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager for the 747 program, said the airplane is performing well in flight tests.

Despite recent doubts in the industry that flight tests will be completed in time, the first delivery of a 747-8 freighter jet is still set for the fourth quarter of this year.

Boeing also said Monday that it has begun assembling the fuselage of the first 747-8 passenger version. So far, the company has 109 firm orders for the 747-8 — 76 for the freighter version and 33 for the passenger version.

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