Boeing's 787-9 Makes First Flight

  • Sep 18, 2013 9:13am GMT
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The Boeing 787-9 made its inaugural flight Tuesday at Paine Field in Everett, WA. The stretched 787 took off at 11:02 AM and completed a 5 hour and 16 minute flight, landing at Boeing Field in Seattle.

"[The 787-9’s] first flight marks a significant milestone for our team, including our partners," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Ray Conner. "We are tremendously proud to have our customers fly the 787-9 and look forward to delivery of the first airplane to Air New Zealand next year."

During Tuesday’s flight, 787-9 Senior Project Pilot Mike Bryan and 787 Chief Pilot Randy Neville departed to the north, reaching an altitude of 20,400 feet and an airspeed of 250 knots, customary for a first flight. While captains Bryan and Neville tested the airplane's systems and structures, onboard equipment transmitted real-time data to a flight-test team on the ground in Seattle.

"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.

Boeing is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. Twenty-five customers from around the world have ordered 388 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.

Photo courtesy todayonline.com.