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Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to Conduct Flight Tests to Auckland

The first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the flight line at Paine Field (KPAE). Photo by Bernie Leighton.

The first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the flight line at Paine Field (KPAE) – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is expected to be delivered to Air New Zealand sometime in mid-2014. Before then, the aircraft has quite a few tests to complete prior to being certified, and Boeing has one fun adventure planned starting this weekend.

According to the Australian Business Traveller (AusBT), the Dreamliner will conduct stop-overs during testing in Auckland, Brisbane, and Alice Springs.

Not only will this allow the 787-9 to spread its wings, but it will also give those of you who live in the area a chance to catch one of the first glimpses of the longer Dreamliner.

Air New Zealand's new white fern livery seen on the 787-9 Dreamliner. Image from Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand’s new white fern livery seen on the 787-9 Dreamliner – Image: Air New Zealand

The test aircraft will take advantage of Australia’s hot temperatures in Alice Springs to test out the stretched Dreamliner. The plane flown down will be the second of three test aircraft Boeing is currently using, ZB002. It will be set up with a bunch of different testing equipment and Boeing tells AirlineReporter it will also, “be fitted with elements of the passenger interior.” Boeing will test the plane’s environmental control system and chose Alice Springs because the location, “meets specific test requirements for both facility and atmospheric conditions.”

“Boeing is proud to bring the 787-9 to Auckland to show Air New Zealand what the team has achieved,” said Mark Jenks, vice president, 787 Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With more than 150 flights since testing began in September, the test fleet continues to perform very well, and we look forward to delivering the first 787-9 in mid-2014 as promised.”

BONUS: Air New Zealand Reveals Their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Cabin and First Route

I know that a good chunk of our readers live in New Zealand and Australia and this flight can give you an opportunity to see the plane in person. The AusBT reports that the 787-9 will land at Auckland Airport (AKL) in the late afternoon of Saturday, January 4th. It will then depart AKL at 11am (NZ time) on the 6th, stopping at Brisbane Airport (BNE) at about noon for a fuel stop, then back in the air at 3pm. The plane is then scheduled to land at Alice Springs Airport (ASP) at around 5pm local time.

Now, word of warning for those of you who have not spent a good amount of time spotting for Boeing new aircraft… all these times are flexible. The test flights can easily be altered due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances – as of the time of publishing, the flight was already late leaving Boeing Field, missing it’s estimated 8am (PST) departure.  Adjust accordingly.

The first Boeing 787-9 moves to the flight-line at Paine Field. Image: Boeing.

The first Boeing 787-9 moves to the flight line at Paine Field – Photo: Boeing

Even though the first 787-9 will be delivered to Air New Zealand in mid-2014, it won’t fly passengers until October 15, 2014, on the inaugural flight from Auckland to Perth.


    David Parker Brown – Editor & Founder 

David started in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn't imagine living anywhere else in the world.

 @ARdpb | Flickr | YouTube | [email protected]

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