ZB-001 (N789EX) the first Boeing 787-9, takes to the sky – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com
At 11:02am this morning, ZB-001 the first Boeing 787-9, became airworthy as it departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington on its first flight.
Boeing’s inaugural flight of the 787-9 was originally scheduled for 10am Pacific Time, but as is usual for ’œBoeing Time’ there was a few delays. The weather may not have been as perfect as the flight tests for yesterday’s CS100 flight from Mirabel, but there was no rain, which is always a positive for Seattle this time of year. With over 10,000 employees in attendance and lots more of the Everett flight line crews watching (plus thousands more watching the live webcast), it was a spectacle that many were anxiously awaiting.
Aerial shot of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (ZB001) Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlineReporter.com
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!
A row of Robinson R-22s at Boeing Field
From my previous articles, I think it’s apparent to both fans and occasional readers that I’m relatively obsessive when it comes to matters of aviation photography.
Helicopter spotting is not new; far from it. Friends of mine are pioneers of helicopter-borne aviation photography, but I had never really considered it to be viable in the Pacific Northwest.
Turns out that I was wrong – very, very, wrong.
You can file this story into the “better late than never,” category. Paine Field Aviation Day happened way back in May 2013 and I have been meaning to share my photos, but kept on forgetting.This year was bigger, better, and filled with some surprises that were worthy of still sharing.
This is the only Hamilton H-47 [first flown in 1928] in the world left flying (reg NC-879H). It was caught taking off from Paine Field with a Dreamlifter and 787 Dreamliner in the background.
Admission to the yearly event is only $10 and gives visitors access to the Historic Flight Foundation, the Flying Heritage Collection, lots of airplanes on the ground, and as many other awesome activities and fly-bys as one can handle.
Although there were many scheduled flights that were entertaining, as more of an airline guy, I found the standard Boeing movements just as great. Continue reading below to see some of the photos of the day, including a Boeing 747-8I, Antonov AN-124, a few Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and more.
The first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (ZB001) on the flight line at Paine Field (KPAE). Photo by Bernie Leighton.
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).