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!

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

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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