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Apr 2, 2007 Boeing 747-400LCF Dreamlifter prototype flying to Edwards AFB

Boeing's first 747-400LCF (Large Cargo Freighter) Dreamlifter large cargo aircraft has flown to Edwards AFB, California, marking the closing phases of its test and certification phase before the start of full-time subassembly delivery flights for the 787 production line.

The aircraft, a modified cargo version of the Boeing 747-400, arrived from Seattle on 6 February for an expected week-long campaign. Boeing says "the team will be evaluating things like takeoff performance, abused takeoffs [abuse of the speed schedule], stall speeds and characteristics". Although the work is part of the baseline certification test program, it is being conducted several weeks later than originally expected due to a number of holdups, including the vibration issues that led to the permanent removal of the winglets.

The additional performance tests are required because of the external modifications to the 747-400LCF, in particular the "brow" fairing connecting the Section 41 to the enlarged "bonnets" running the length of the fuselage. In addition, the testing will evaluate the effects of the enlarged fin tip, which was extended by 1.5m (5ft) for improved directional stability.

Testing includes Vmcg (ground minimum control speed), trimmed and mis-trimmed takeoff characteristics.

The second 747-400LCF was due to arrive in Seattle in a new white-and-blue livery by early January, but has yet to make its first flight, adding pressure to the already compressed schedule.

Note: Two 747-400Fs will be converted to the new configuration named Large Cargo Freighter. The 747-400LCF will hold three times the cargo by volume of the 747-400 freighters flying today.and the modified freighters will be ready to support final assembly of the first Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2007. Feb 13, 2007

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Apr 2, 2007
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Publication:Airguide Online
Date:Apr 2, 2007
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