18-Sep-2013 12:13 PM

Boeing conducts first test flight of 787-9

Boeing conducted (17-Sep-2013) the maiden test flight of the 787-9 a stretched version of the 787-8 offering capacity for an additional 40 passengers and an increase in range of 300nm. The flight begins a comprehensive flight-test programme leading to certification and delivery in mid-2014. The test flight lasted more than five hours. The aircraft was powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. The first 787-9 will be joined in flight test by two additional aircraft, one of which will feature General Electric GEnx engines. Boeing stated it is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. 25 customers have ordered 388 787-9s, accounting for 40% of all 787 orders. Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner said the first flight “marks a significant milestone for our team, including our partners" and the company looks forward to delivery of the first airplane to Air New Zealand next year. Air New Zealand congratulated Boeing on the milestone, with Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon stating: "We are hugely excited knowing that in less than a year Air New Zealand will be the first airline to take the 787-9 into commercial service...The 787-9 will be a game changer for Air New Zealand. Not only is it significantly more fuel efficient than the aircraft it is replacing, the 787-9 also represents a significant growth opportunity for our business as it opens up the prospect of expanding our Pacific Rim footprint. We look forward to welcoming the first of our 10 new 787-9s into our fleet mid next year.” [more - original PR - Boeing] [more - original PR - Air New Zealand]

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