Boeing 747-8KZF N5017Q begins testing in Southern California

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle, Wichita and Charleston) has placed the second Boeing 747-8 Freighter, RC521, the pictured 747-8KZF N5017Q (msn 36136), landed in Palmdale, CA yesterday (April 19), marking the beginning of a planned transition of 747-8 Freighter testing to Southern California. The more than four-hour flight from Boeing Field in Seattle included testing on avionics and cruise performance.

The airplane will be stationed in Palmdale for the majority of its scheduled flight-test program. The crew will conduct several tests on the airplane with fuel-mileage and engine-performance testing as key focus areas.

A contingent of employees has been stationed at Palmdale for the testing, including flight-test engineers and the support personnel who prepare the airplane for each day’s flights. In the coming weeks, the two other 747-8 airplanes in the flight-test fleet will join RC521 in Southern California.

The entire flight-test program calls for the three airplanes to perform a total of about 3,700 hours of ground and air testing. The first 747-8 Freighter delivery to Cargolux is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. N5017Q is pictured at Seattle (Boeing Field-King County) prior to the departure to Palmdale.