Fourth 787 Joins Boeing Flight-Test Fleet

 - March 15, 2010, 5:02 AM

Boeing has added the fourth 787 to its flight-test fleet with yesterday’s first flight of Dreamliner ZA003. The airplane departed Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 10:55 a.m. local 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, 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,” said Craig. “Engineering, manufacturing and flight operations have really pulled together as a team to enable first flight. It has been rewarding to watch the Boeing team pull together in support of this milestone.”

The only 787 in the flight-test fleet to carry elements of the passenger interior features, ZA003 includes cabin and crew support systems.

Along with demonstrating that the interior meets certification requirements, Boeing plans to use ZA003 to conduct tests on systems, noise performance, flight-deck operations, avionics, electromagnetic effects, high-intensity radio field (HIRF) frequency response and extended operations (Etops).