The first Boeing 787-9 took off on its maiden mission from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, Tuesday at 11:02 a.m. local time. Plans called for the latest Dreamliner variant to land at Seattle’s Boeing Field some time between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Twenty feet longer than the 787-8, the 787-9 generally carries some 40 more passengers, depending on seating configurations, and operates to a range of 8,500 nautical miles—300 nm farther than its smaller sibling. Boeing has started final assembly of the second and third airplanes, both of which will also participate in the flight-test program. Delivery schedules call for the first production example to go to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014.