Boeing’s Dreamliner 787-9 aircraft, an improved version over its current 787-8 production model, successfully completed its first flight. The successful maiden flight marks an important milestone for the aircraft manufacturing giant as well as its customers. Besides being a more profitable aircraft for Boeing from the salability standpoint, the 787-9 is expected to bring better operational efficiencies to customers.
The new model is longer than its predecessor and can carry an additional 40 passengers taking its total seating capacity to 290. This jetliner also boasts and additional range of 300 nautical miles. Initial statements from officials suggested that the flight that landed at 4:18 pm PST, went off without hiccups. It took off from Paine Field, Everett, Washington at 11:02am PST.
Boeing’s Dreamliner has, in the past, been beset by a variety of setbacks ranging from fires in electrical panels to concerns with the aircraft’s brake system. Other serious concerns such as overheating of the plane’s batteries compelled Boeing to ground its fleet of 787-8 aircraft for three months so as to redesign the battery system.
According to senior project pilot Captain Mike Bryan, the maiden flight was completed without the occurrence of any of the common minor problems that often occur in new planes during their initial flights. He said that another test flight will likely be scheduled on Thursday, just day after its maiden test flight. According to Boeing, the aircraft being used for the tests is scheduled to be delivered to Air New Zealand by mid next year.