The largest version of Boeing’s Dreamliner series took to the skies for the first time on Friday (31 March 2017).
The occasion, which took place at Boeing’s factory in South Carolina, saw the brand new wide-bodied aircraft conduct a test flight totalling almost five hours. Captain Tim Berg, who piloted the test flight, said he was impressed by the aircraft’s performance.
“From take-off to landing, the airplane handled beautifully and just as expected,” said Berg. “The 787-10 is a fantastic machine that I know our customers and their passengers will love.”
The third and largest version of the 787 series, following the 787-8 and 787-9, the 787-10 is 68.3 metres long and can seat approximately 330 passengers in a standard two-class layout. It will be able to operate some of the longest routes in the world.
Developed using composite materials, it will be lighter and quieter than similar wide-bodied aircraft, whilst also delivering 25% improvements in terms of fuel consumption and emissions compared to the models it will replace.
“The 787-10’s first flight moves us one step closer to giving our customers the most efficient airplane in its class,” said Boeing’s commercial president & CEO, Kevin McAllister. “The airplane will give carriers added flexibility in growing their network routes and build on the overwhelming success of the 787 Dreamliner family.”
The 787-10 will now undergo further flight tests before deliveries begin in the first half of 2018. So far, Boeing has sold 149 787-10s to customers including Singapore Airlines, ANA, British Airways, Etihad, EVA Air, KLM and United Airlines.
More than 420 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliners are currently in service across the world, with major operators including ANA (47 aircraft), United (30), Qatar Airways (29), JAL (29) and LATAM (22).