Boeing flies third 787-­9 Dreamliner

The final dedicated flight test plane, and the first 787-9 equipped with General Electric's GENx engines, took to the air two months after the new version's first flight.

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On Nov. 19, The Boeing Co.'s (Chicago, Ill.) third 787-9 Dreamliner, the first to be powered by General Electric GEnx engines, took to the air from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. The last of three 787-9s dedicated to the test effort, aircraft ZB021 joined the fleet some two months after the inaugural flight of the first 787-9.

ZB021 took off at 12:15 p.m. local time and landed 2 hours and 44 minutes later at Seattle's Boeing Field. Boeing will use ZB021 to test engine performance as well as airplane handling characteristics, such as low-speed performance and braking.

According to Boeing, the 787-9 test program continues to make great progress. The fleet flies regularly, with the second airplane now in Florida for climatic testing, and has accumulated more than 180 flight hours during more than 60 flights. In addition to the three dedicated airplanes, Boeing also will conduct some testing on two production airplanes, the first of which is in final assembly in Everett.

Boeing says it is "on track" to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. So far, 26 customers have ordered 396 787-9s, accounting for approximately 40 percent of all 787 orders.

Boeing added that 787-10 development also is "on plan."

For more information, contact Julie O'Donnell, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Communications, Tel.: (206) 245-8553; E-mail: julie.o'

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