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Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA006 Has Successful Take Off & Flight But Lands Early

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA006 takes off earlier today from Paine Field. Photo by simpilot459 via Flickr

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA006 takes off earlier today from Paine Field. Photo by simpilot459 via Flickr

The sixth Boeing 787 Dreamliner (ZA006) successfully took off from Paine Field (KPAE) at 11:43am. It was scheduled to fly for a about three hours, but cut its flight short after about an hour, landing at Boeing Field (KBFI).

Boeing tells Aubrey Cohen with the Seattle PI that the flight was cut short due to a “maintenance issue,” but they are still counting it as a success. “The air crew experienced a maintenance issue during flight and as a precautionary note decided to land at Boeing Field,” Boeing 787 spokeswoman Yvonne Leach said. “A flight of this length is still considered a success first flight and we are proud to have the sixth and final flight test airplane enter the program today.”

Unfortunately, I was not able to make it for the take off or landing, but Boeing stated they will be posting video of the take off in the near future. I will be updating this blog with more information as it is received.

Check it out:
* Video from Liz Matzelle (@ImperfectSense) of ZA006 completing simulated landing test on Saturday at KPAE
* Photos and video from KPAE blog
* Flight path of ZA006 flight today via Flight Aware
* Simpilot459 also got two photos of ZA006 on taxi: ONE & TWO
* Nice nighttime photo of ZA006′s nose at Boeing’s fuel dock via @Sabian404

Image: Simpliot459

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA006 First Flight Should Be Soon

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA006 inside the Boeing Factory in June 2010. Photo by Jon Ostrower.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA006 (N787ZA) inside the Boeing Factory in June 2010. Photo by Jon Ostrower.

The rumor-mill is a buzz for when the 6th Boeing 787 Dreamliner (ZA006) will take flight. I am hearing early October and the closer we get the more reliable the rumors will be. It has continually been pushed back, but sounds like we are finally getting close.  I was originally hearing October 2nd or 3rd. Either one would be great, since that is a Saturday and hopefully those of you who are local folks can make a trip to Paine Field and watch a first flight of a Boeing 787. Even if you have seen one take off, it doesn’t hurt seeing another!

So what makes ZA006 stand out from the other 787 test aircraft?

* ZA006 is the second Dreamliner to use GEnx-1B engines (ZA005 was the first).
* It will be used to test: electromagnetic effects,  high intensity radio frequency and ETOPS (let’s aircraft fly over long stretches, like an ocean, without an emergency airport).
* ZA006 is the last dedicated test aircraft. Another 787  production model will be used, since a small portion of the testing has to be on an airplane in production configuration as opposed to those that have unique flight test equipment installed.

I will let you know more information on the first flight date as we get closer. Boeing is always quiet about when a plane will fly, but they are typically scheduled for 10am. Either way, let’s hope for some good weather!

UPDATE:
Jon Ostrower (aka FlightBlogger) is also hearing “with-in the next week,” from George Maffeo, vice president of 787 supplier management. Check Ostrower’s blog for additional Boeing 787 Dreamliner updates.

Photo taken by Jon Ostrower, FlightBlogger