Boeing made its maiden flight today of its 787-9 Dreamliner marking the beginning a comprehensive flight-test program leading towards certification and delivery in mid-2014.
The newest member of the efficient 787 family completed a 5-hour, 16-minute flight.
The Boeing 787-9 variant is some twenty feet longer than the 787-8, and in airliner variant carries some 40 or more passengers, depending on seating configurations, operating to a range of 8,500 nautical miles; an extension of 300 nm farther than the dash eight, with the same exceptional environmental performance — and 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes.
Boeing has started final assembly of the second and third airplanes, both of which will also participate in the flight-test program. Delivery schedules call for the first production example to go to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014.
“We accomplished a lot in this flight, and it went really well,” said Bryan. “The 787-9 is a great jet and we wanted to just keep on flying.”
Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, the first 787-9 will be joined in flight test by two additional airplanes, one of which will feature General Electric GEnx engines. Those airplanes are in the final stages of assembly in Boeing’s Everett factory. Over the coming months, the fleet will be subjected to a variety of tests and conditions to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the airplane’s design.
Aircraft-Completion.com will be following on from this story in future weeks with news regarding private variants.