Yesterday, I was airborne over Paine Field again to capture Boeing’s gorgeous new 787. The 787-9. This aircraft will not only carry more passengers than its shorter sibling, but also offers a higher take-off weight. This will allow customers who use this frame to open routes that were never possible with current aircraft.
Although this is the first Boeing 787-9 to come out of the factory, it will not be the first to be delivered to launch customer Air New Zealand. This frame (ZB001), along with the next two that will come out of the factory, will be dedicated test aircraft. They will, however, be refurbished and make their way to Air New Zealand as ZK’s NZC and D by the end of next year.
With the first engine-run occurring earlier this morning, Boeing is hoping that the first flight will occur, “later this summer.” Afterwards, Boeing will conduct a number of different flight tests to earn airworthiness certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Since the 787-9 is similar to the 787-8, which has already received certification, the amount of testing on the 787-9 won’t be as significant. On the what/when/where/how of those tests, Boeing tells AirlineReporter.com that details will be released, “when we’re closer to first flight.”
According to Air New Zealand, “the first two 787-9s being built will be used as test aircraft before being refitted to join the Air New Zealand fleet. The third off the line will be the first 787-9 delivered to us.”
To date, about 40% of all 787 orders are for the 787-9, where 55% is for the 787-8 and the last 5% for the 787-10.
MORE BOEING 787-9 PHOTOS/VIDEOS:
- PHOTO: Boeing Completes the First 787-9 Dreamliner
- PHOTOS: First 787-9 Dreamliner in New Boeing Livery
- VIDEO & PHOTOS: Roll Out of First Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
- Air New Zealand Shows Off New Livery Times Two on 787-9
- The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Starts Coming Together
- Additional information and fun 787-9 stuff from Boeing