747 Flight Test Certification 700828

The 747 flight test certification program was initiated with the first flight of the No. 1 airplane on February 9, 1969. Five test airplanes were used in an intensive test program involving 1443 flight hr and 36-1/4 airplane months, with the last certification flight on December 23, 1969. Full type certification approval was granted by the FAA on December 30, 1969 after a total of 10-2/3 months of flight testing. These statistics compare very well with the original program estimates, which were based on Boeing's extensive experience with development and certification testing of commercial transport airplanes. The success of this test program was not due to any great advancements in flight test techniques specifically for the 747, but was due to the tried and proven test methods developed during past certification programs at Boeing. This is not meant to imply that some new methods were not used, but to emphasize that test techniques evolve with experience. This paper wil discuss both the test methods and the data systems used during the test program.


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