The Boeing 787 Dreamliner took to the sky for
the first time on Tuesday. The flight marks the beginning of a
flight test program that will see six airplanes flying nearly
around the clock and around the globe, with the airplane's first
delivery scheduled for fourth quarter 2010.
The newest member of the Boeing family of
commercial jetliners took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash.
at 10:27 a.m. local time, Dec. 15 (2:27 a.m. HKG/SIN time, Dec. 16).
After approximately three hours, it landed at 1:33 p.m. local
time, Dec. 15 (5:33 a.m. HKG/SIN time, Dec. 16) at Seattle's Boeing
787 Chief Pilot Mike Carriker and Capt. Randy
Neville tested some of the airplane's systems and structures, as
on-board equipment recorded and transmitted real-time data to a
flight-test team at Boeing Field.
After takeoff from
Everett, the airplane followed a route over the east end of the
Strait of Juan de Fuca. Capts. Carriker and Neville took the
airplane to an altitude of 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) and an air
speed of 180 knots, or about 207 miles (333 kilometers) per hour,
customary on a first flight.
Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent
1000 engines, the first Boeing 787 will be joined in the flight
test program in the coming weeks and months by five other 787s,
including two that will be powered by General Electric GEnx
Fifty-five customers around the world have
ordered 840 787s, making the 787 Dreamliner the fastest-selling
new commercial jetliner in history.
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