’s second 787-9 test aircraft, a stretched version of the 787-8 currently in operation, performed a successful test flight on Thursday. The 787-9, known as ZB002, completed a 4-hour, 18-minute test flight between Paine Field in Everett, Wash., and Seattle's Boeing
Field. ZB002 is the only 787-9 test aircraft that is equipped with the environmental control system, avionics and other aspects that will measure flight performance.
[Second Boeing 787-9 test aircraft. Photo, courtesy of Boeing.]
Also on Thursday, launch customer Air New Zealand announced Auckland-Perth as the first scheduled route to be operated by the 787-9.
“The 787-9 is going to be a game changer for Air New Zealand and is a key element in delivering on our Go Beyond growth plan. Not only is the 787-9 around 20 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft it’s replacing, it also sets a new benchmark for passenger comfort,” said Christopher Luxon, CEO of Air New Zealand.
Boeing is scheduled to deliver the first of 10 new 787-9s to Air New Zealand next year, with entry into service planned for October 2014.