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Boeing Expects 747-8 Freighter Delivery in Early September (plus rad photo)

747-8F Flying Over 2011 Seafair Race. Photo by Boeing. Click for larger.

747-8F Flying Over 2011 Seafair Race. Photo by Boeing/Leo Dejillas. Click for larger.

Today, Boeing announced that the new 747-8 Freighter has received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This means the new jumbo-jet is in the final stages before being delivered to Cargolux. Boeing is expecting the first 747-8F to be delivered to Cargolux in, “early September.”

“This is such a great day for everyone on the 747 team,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes stated in a Boeing press release. “Over the last several years, this team has overcome challenge after challenge. Through their hard work and dedication, they have ensured that the 747, the Queen of the Skies, will fly for decades to come.” Boeing is expecting the passenger version, the 747-8 Intercontinental, will be delivered to Lufthansa Airlines sometime during the fourth quarter. Check out this Boeing video on the 747-8F testing process.

So, the big question is, which airliner will be delivered first? The Boeing 787 Dreamliner or the 747-8F. Either way, it is looking like September will be one awesome month for airline geeks around the world (and for Cargolux and All Nippon Airways).

About the photo: During Seattle’s Seafair, Boeing flew one of their 747-8F over Lake Washington. Although there was no Tex Johnston-like roll, I hear it was still a great site to see. This photo was taken by Leo Dejillas (and found on Randy Tinseth’s blog). I am assuming the photo was taken from one of Boeing’s T-38 chase planes. I think it does a nice job representing how great Seattle is, for how many other cities get a low fly over of a brand new aircraft on a sunny Sunday? (thanks Liz for helping me get my facts on the Seafair flyover straight — she was there and I wasn’t)

Video: Boeing 747-8 Freighter Completes Ultimate Rejected Take Off

The new Boeing 747-8F is one majestic aircraft. Along with all the majesticness (yes I just made that a word) comes a lot of weight. The 747-8F can take off weighing nearly one million pounds and for the flight tests, Boeing needs to make sure the aircraft can successfully complete an aborted take off, fully loaded.

The Ultimate Rejected Takeoff (yes that is official terminology) is not made easy. First they loaded up the aircraft to about 975,000 pounds. Then they made sure the brakes were as worn as possible — not something that would happen during normal maintenance.

Once the aircraft got above 200mph, the Boeing test pilot, Captain Kirk Vining, slammed on the brakes. During a normal aborted take off, the pilot would also use thrust reversers, but not for this test. All that energy (and it is a lot) went directly to the brakes.

The 747-8F was able to stop about 700 feet sooner than Boeing was expecting. However, stopping is just half the battle. As you can see in the video, once the aircraft is stopped, the brakes were glowing red. Even though a fire crew was on the scene, they let the brakes sit for five minutes to see how the 747-8F would react.

This video shows a worst case scenario. Even if you have experienced a rejected take off as a passenger, it most likely wasn’t this violent. This just goes to show that aircraft can handle a lot and are extremely safe.

For more information and a second video, check out Boeing’s website.