The new plane -- the biggest commercial jet Boeing has ever built -- completed a 3-1/2 hour flight around the Puget Sound area from an airfield north of Seattle, Washington, without any hitches.
Boeing twice delayed the first flight of the 747-8 last year, most recently moving a planned fourth-quarter flight to early 2010 and first delivery to the fourth quarter of 2010.
The 747-8 Freighter, about 18 feet longer than the 747-400, had been launched in November 2005 and was originally scheduled to start delivering in the fourth-quarter of 2009.
The company took a $1 billion charge related to the 747-8 in the third quarter of 2009 because of high production costs and tough market conditions.
Boeing, which has 108 orders for 747-8s -- 76 for its freighter model and 32 for the passenger model -- on its books at list prices between $293 million and $308 million, gets paid by customers at delivery.
The 747 family has been in the air since 1969 and is Boeing's biggest and most recognizable commercial plane.
The 747-8 uses new engine and wing designs, boasts greater fuel efficiency and lower operating costs than the Airbus
The freighter's test flight comes on the heels of a successful test flight of the 787 Dreamliner in December.
Though not nearly as innovative or fuel-efficient as the revolutionary carbon-composite 787 Dreamliner, the 747-8 shares technology with the higher-profile plane.
Boeing's reputation has been bruised by two years of Dreamliner delays. That plane finally flew for the first time in December.
(Reporting by Kyle Peterson; Additional reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Steve Orlofsky)