The B787-9 Dreamliner has taken to the skies as it begins a comprehensive flight-test programme ahead of certification and delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand by mid-2014.
This follows news last month that Boeing had completed manufacturing of the first B787-9 (see here).
Sporting the Boeing livery, the newest member of the 787 family went on a 5hr 16min flight yesterday. The aircraft took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington at 1102 local time, and landed at 1618 at Seattle's Boeing field.
During the test flight, the B787-9 achieved an altitude of 20,400 feet (6,218 metres), along with an airspeed of 250 knots (roughly 463 km per hour), as is customary for a first flight. Real-time data was transmitted from the aircraft to a flight-test team based on the ground in Seattle.
The B787-9 aircraft that participated in the inaugural test flight is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. Boeing intends to manufacture additional B787-9s that feature different engines for comparison.
According to the aircraft manufacturer, the fleet will be subjected to a variety of tests and conditions to determine the safety and reliability of the airplane's design.
Measuring six metres longer than the B787-8, the new aircraft increases capacity and range of the Dreamliner, carrying 40 more passengers over an additional 300 nautical miles (555 km).
For more information, visit www.boeing.com