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Dan Catchpole | dcatchpole@heraldnet.com
Published: Monday, March 14, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

Boeing readies 747-8 passenger plane for first flight on March 20

  • Boeing could fly its 747-8 passenger plane, shown here at its rollout, as early as 10 a.m., March 20.

    Michael O'Leary / The Herald

    Boeing could fly its 747-8 passenger plane, shown here at its rollout, as early as 10 a.m., March 20.

The Boeing Co. is getting closer to putting its 747-8 passenger plane in the sky for the first time.

The company completed final gauntlet testing, which simulates flight conditions to test systems and ensure flight readiness, over the weekend on its updated jumbo jet.

"The team continues to do great work to get the 747-8 Intercontinental into the air," said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager, 747 program. "It'll be a great day for the team when the airplane flies."

Before Boeing flies its 747-8 Intercontinental, the company still has to put the jumbo jet through taxiing tests and get the OK from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Boeing's 747-8 passenger plane could take its maiden flight as soon as 10 a.m., Sunday, March 20, the company said on Monday.

The jet maker already is in flight testing on the freighter version of the 747-8. Boeing plans to deliver the first freighter and first 747-8 passenger plane by year's end.

For more on final gauntlet testing, watch Boeing's video.

Click here to see more photos of Boeing's latest jumbo jet,


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