Boeing says the first flight of its long-awaited 787 Dreamliner is “on schedule for later this quarter”.
The aircraft has now completed “all the necessary structural tests required prior to first flight”, and will next undergo additional airplane power and systems tests, as well as engine runs, systems checks and high-speed taxi tests, before being ready for its first flight later this quarter.
“We are making great progress, and moving ever-closer to first flight,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 Dreamliner program.
The launch of the Dreamliner has been subject to a number of delays, not helped by the strike at Boeing’s manufacturing plant in Seattle last year. Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) will be the launch customer for the aircraft, with the first delivery due in 2010.
For a closer look at the forthcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliner, read Tom Otley’s special report in the May 2009 issue of Business Traveller.
Report by Mark Caswell