With the certification process and test program now complete, the 747-8f program is now getting ready to begin deliveries, which will commence later this month when Cargolux takes the first delivery (reported to be LX-VCB, msn: 35806) on September 19th. Two days later, on the 21st, the second, LX-VCD (msn: 35809), will take off for revenue service. The third aircraft, LX-VCC (msn: 35807), was part of the testing regime (it debuted Cargolux’s new livery back in June, 2010) and will join the Cargolux fleet in October after some refurbishment in San Antonio.
Cargo Facts was on hand for the first flight of LX-VCD on Sept. 2. The B-1 flight consisted of the standard round robin to Grant County/Moses Lake (KMWH) and back over the course of about two hours.
After a high speed taxi test and a steep takeoff, the crew lowered the gear back down for a short time and began evaluating various systems. Unlike some first flights, which are touch-and-goes at Grant County, LX-VCD actually spent about a half an hour on the ground at KMWH before returning to Paine Field from a successful outing.
We will continue to bring you coverage of the 747-8 program’s progress and coverage of new deliveries as often as we can.
Photographer: Alex Kwanten