on Tuesday conducted the first flight of the 787-9, the second largest variant of its flagship 787 Dreamliner family of aircraft.
(Boeing's first 787-9. Photo, courtesy of Boeing.
The 787-9 took off from Paine Field near Everett, Wash., Tuesday morning for a flight scheduled to last up to five hours. The aircraft holds 40 additional passengers and can fly 300 nautical miles further than the standard 787-8.
Company officials are hoping for a seamless flight testing process with the 787-9, after technical issues plagued the 787-8 earlier this year. FAA
grounded the aircraft for more than three months earlier this year after two of its lithium-ion battery systems overheated, producing a fire on one aircraft.
Air New Zealand has been confirmed as the launch customer for the 787-9. Boeing is looking to reposition itself strongly in the mid-wide body airframes segment with the 787-9 and 787-10 which was launched at the Paris Air Show. The manufacturer also has plans to launch the 777X program later this year.
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