Aerial shot of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo by Bernie Leighton.

Aerial shot of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (ZB001)   Photo: Bernie Leighton/

Did you just read a story about Bombardier’s first CSeries first flight potentially happening on Monday, only to find out the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner’s first flight could be as early as Tuesday, September 17th? Why yes you did. Boeing announced this week that their first 787-9 could possibly have its maiden flight at Paine Field early next week.

Yes AvGeeks, this is going to be a good week for all of us!

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

Air New Zealand will be the first airline to take delivery of the 787-9 Dreamliner. Image: Air New Zealand

While we know that the 787-9 could experience its first flight starting on Tuesday, that’s all that is known right now. The flight could be pushed back later in the week due to a number of different factors. This might surprise some of you, but the weather in Seattle in mid-September can be a bit unpredictable and not always conducive to an aircraft’s first flight. As of now, there is rain forecast for Tuesday, but I am more concerned about low visibility.

As they have with other first flights, Boeing warns, “as flight testing is dynamic by its very nature, the schedule for first flight is always subject to change due to weather conditions and other factors.” For those of us who have spent quite a bit of time at Paine Field watching the new aircraft, we call this “Boeing time.” Obviously there are no passengers waiting for the plane and Boeing needs to make sure that everything is working properly, so often first flights (every plane built has to have one) will not always go as scheduled.

If you are not going to be in the Seattle area during the first flight, have no worries. Boeing tells us that they will have a live webcast of the takeoff and landing. No matter what happens with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner first flight, you better be sure we will be covering it.



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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