Wednesday, December 16, 2009
787 Dreamliner Makes First Flight
Boeing's long-awaited 787 Dreamliner took to the skies for the first time on Tuesday, more than two years behind its original schedule. More than 12,000 Boeing employees and spectators witnessed the three-hour first flight at Boeing's facility in Everett, Wash. The flight marks the beginning of a flight test program; the airplane's first delivery scheduled for fourth quarter 2010. Boeing said 787 Chief Pilot Mike Carriker and Capt. Randy Neville tested some of the airplane's systems and structures, as on-board equipment recorded and transmitted real-time data to a flight-test team at Boeing Field. The crew took the airplane to an altitude of 15,000 feet and an air speed of 180 knots, or about 207 miles per hour, according to the company. "Today is truly a proud and historic day for the global team who has worked tirelessly to design and build the 787 Dreamliner - the first all-new jet airplane of the 21st century," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "We look forward to the upcoming flight test program and soon bringing groundbreaking levels of efficiency, technology and passenger comfort to airlines and the flying public."