Fourth Dreamliner starts flight tests

Guest Writer

EVERETT, Wash., March 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) has added the fourth 787 Dreamliner to its flight-test fleet with the completion of the first flight of ZA003. The airplane departed Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 10:55 a.m. (Pacific time) and landed at 2:01 p.m. at Boeing Field in Seattle.

Captains Ray Craig and Mike Bryan piloted the airplane on its three-hour-and-six-minute flight. ZA003 is the final 787 with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines to enter the flight-test program.

“We’ve done a significant amount of ground testing on the new systems on ZA003 in preparation for first flight. Engineering, manufacturing and flight operations have really pulled together as a team to enable first flight,” said Craig. “It has been very rewarding to watch the Boeing team pull together in support of this milestone.”

ZA003 is the only 787 in the flight test fleet that will include elements of the passenger interior features including cabin and crew support systems. The 787 is introducing new passenger amenities and provisions for a more comfortable flying experience. Among the new features are improved lighting, bigger stowage bins, larger windows with electrochromatic shades and redesigned lavatories with easier access.

In addition to demonstrating that the interior meets certification requirements, ZA003 will be used to conduct tests on systems, noise performance, flight-deck operations, avionics, electromagnetic effects, high-intensity radio frequency response and extended operations (ETOPS).

“The Boeing team is doing great work. We’ve established a good pace of accomplishment on the program,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The priorities are clear and the entire team is focused.”

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