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).