BOE 789 (ZB021) taking off from Paine Airport with T-33 chase plane in tow
Boeing 3rd and final 787-9 flight test aircraft powered by GE's GEnx-1B engines took off on its first flight this afternoon after a few hours delay. Boeing does plan on using 2 production standard 787-9 for testing and other certification activities including functionality and reliability testing. The first aircraft, ZB197 (LN 147) is still in final assembly but should emerge by the end of this month. The other aircraft maybe ZB003 (LN 169, ZK-NZE) which would be the first 787-9 to deliver to launch customer Air New Zealand.
Here's Boeing's Press Release on ZB021's first flight:
Boeing Flies Third 787-9 Dreamliner
- First GEnx-powered 787-9 flight
- Final dedicated flight-test airplane flies some two months from inaugural 787-9 flight
EVERETT, Wash., Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Boeing (NYSE: BA) flew the third 787-9 Dreamliner, the first to be powered by General Electric GEnx engines. The third of three 787-9s dedicated to the test effort, ZB021 joined the fleet some two months from the inaugural flight of the first 787-9.
ZB021 took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 12:15 p.m. local time and landed 2 hours and 44 minutes later at Seattle's Boeing Field. Boeing will use ZB021 to test engine performance as well as airplane handling characteristics such as low-speed performance and braking.
The 787-9 test program continues to make great progress. The fleet flies regularly, with the second airplane now in Florida for climatic testing, and has accumulated more than 180 flight hours and more than 60 flights. In addition to the three dedicated airplanes, Boeing also will conduct some testing on two production airplanes, the first of which is in final assembly in Everett. 787-10 development also is on plan.
Boeing is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. 26 customers have ordered 396 787-9s, accounting for approximately 40 percent of all 787 orders.
In the meantime, Boeing, it seems in aggressively picking up the production testing pace now that they have increased 787 production to 10/month. Starting now they will have to deliver 787s at a quicker pace. Already we've seen Boeing fly 787s on their B-1 flights less than one month after they have been rolled out of the factory. I believe we'll see that time span get shorter. Of the 16 airplanes that have completed assembly and that are out on the flightline, 5 have yet to fly and 2 of those are in the paint hangar in Everett. I believe Boeing can deliver 4 to 6 more 787s by the end of this month.
Full 787 List
Current 787 Production List
Delivered 787 List
787 Monthly Delivery Tracking
787 Customer Delivery
787-9 Flight Test Hours
Current 787 Operators