First Boeing MD-10 Freighter Makes Its Inaugural Flight

The first Boeing MD-10 Freighter took off on its inaugural flight from Long Beach Municipal Airport at 12:55 p.m. local time on Saturday, April 10, and landed 4 hours and 25 minutes later at Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa, Ariz.

Boeing pilot Capt. Joe Goodlove, co-pilot Capt. Gary McCellan and flight-test engineer Wayne Anselmo put the MD-10 through its paces during its first flight.

"MD-10" is the designation given to modified DC-10s that incorporate the Boeing Advanced Common Flight deck (ACF), which accommodates a two-person crew. The MD-10 flight deck is similar to the Boeing MD-11, allowing the crews to fly the two airplanes interchangeably.

According to Henning Andresen, MD-10 project manager - Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group, the flight went "very well." He said the crew completed all of the planned flight-test parameters for the mission.

Two other MD-10s are scheduled to join the flight-test program, which is expected to last 10 months. Certification of the airplane will follow successful completion of the flight-test program. Certification is required because of the new avionics on the airplane.

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Lori Gunter