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GE's 747 flying testbed celebrates 40 years of flight

GE Aviation's historic 747 flying testbed (FTB) recently celebrated 40 years of flight.  

The aircraft rolled off the assembly line on October 17, 1969 and went into operation with Pan American World Airlines. GE purchased the aircraft in 1992.  

"We are very proud of the length of reliable service the flying testbed has provided," said Dom Pitocco, plant leader at GE's Victorville Flight Test Operation. "The aircraft is a living relic, being the primary commercial engine test aircraft for GE's top-performing and best-selling engines over the past two decades."  

The flying testbed, a first-generation 747-100 model, is the oldest version of the 747 still flying in the United States today and the fifth oldest in the world. The aircraft has flight tested GE and CFM International engines of various sizes and thrust capabilities, from the CF34 engines for regional jets to the world's largest, most powerful engine, the GE90-115B.  

GE has flown the aircraft more than 600 cycles and 2,500 test hours, bringing its lifetime total to more than 18,000 cycles and 88,000 flight hours.  

The Victorville Flight Test Operation is a team of pilots, engineers, technicians, and support personnel located at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, Calif.  Most test missions out of Victorville are flown within the Edwards Air Force Base Restricted Test Area R-2508, which is restricted airspace for test flights located around Edwards Air Force Base in Lancaster, Calif.  Test missions are also flown to Colorado Springs, Colo., Yuma, Ariz., Seattle, Wash., and Fairbanks, Ark., based upon test requirements.

Press release issued by GE Aircraft Engines on October 29, 2009


 Contact details from our directory:
GE Aircraft Engines Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines, Turbofan Engines, Turbojet Engines


 Related aircraft programs:
Boeing 747


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