Boeing 787-9 Takes First Flight

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The stretched version of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, the 787-9, can carry 290 passengers (40 more than the 787-8) over a greater distance and took its first flight, Tuesday, at Boeing's Paine Field in Everett, Wash. The jet landed with no significant squawks and is ready to continue flight testing this week without the need to address outstanding issues, according to the company. The first flight included several test scenarios, including a check of the stick shaker system. Roughly 40 percent (almost 390) of the more than 930 Dreamliners ordered are represented by the 787-9 version. But some 50 orders are for an even larger version.

Even larger than the 787-9, Boeing has developed the 787-10, and began taking orders for that jet in June. Boeing says the jet "seats 250-290 passengers with a range of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles while using 20 percent less fuel and with 20 percent fewer emissions than any other airplane of its size." The 787-9 will carry 290 passengers 300 nautical miles farther than the 787-8. On its first flight, it maintained speeds below 366 knots and flew to 20,000 feet, as reported by FlightAware.com. The flight took place over Puget Sound and eastern Washington State. The test program is expected to continue for nine months. After completion, the test jet is scheduled to enter service in mid-2014 with Air New Zealand. A second flight of the jet is expected to take place today.