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New model Dreamliner, big one for Boeing, takes to sky

April 5, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Boeing’s 787-10 Dreamliner, the newest and longest model of the B787 family and for the plane-maker perhaps potentially the most vital, took to the sky for the first time on Friday and completed a successful five-hour flight.

The new jet is the most expensive Dreamliner yet, with a list price of USD 312.8 million. If it sells well it will help Boeing meet the USD 27.3 billion in production losses stemming from initial problems with the Dreamliner family’s production, but as Bloomberg news agency points out, the Dreamliner family has to compete for sales with a glut of similarly sized second-hand B777s and A330s.

Passengers love the B787, however, and there’s every sign the new longer B787-10 version will be popular and profitable.

Boeing 787-10 cruising smoothly on maiden five-hour flight

In the first half of next year, Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be the launch customer for the B787-10, which is 5.5 metres longer than the B787-9.

Boeing has won 149 orders for the new longer B787 variant from nine customers worldwide. As well as SIA they include British Airways, Etihad, KLM, United, EVA Air, All Nippon Airways (ANA),  Air Lease Corporation (ALC) and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).

The plane’s maiden flight, at Boeing South Carolina, lasted four hours and 58 minutes precisely.

“The 787-10’s first flight moves us one step closer to giving our customers the most efficient airplane in its class,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive Kevin McAllister.

Boeing 787-10 on first flight

“The airplane will give carriers added flexibility in growing their network routes and build on the overwhelming success of the 787 Dreamliner family.”

Piloted by Boeing test and evaluation captains Tim Berg and Mike Bryan, the aircraft  performed tests on flight controls, systems and handling qualities. The B787-10 will now undergo comprehensive flight-testing before customer deliveries begin in the first half of 2018.

“From takeoff to landing, the airplane handled beautifully and just as expected,” said Berg, chief 787 pilot. “The 787-10 is a fantastic machine that I know our customers and their passengers will love.”

As a 5.5-metre stretch of the 787-9, the 787-10 will deliver 25% better fuel per seat and emissions than the aircraft it will replace “and 10% better than today’s competition”, Boeing stated.

Since entering service in 2011, the B787 family has flown more than 152 million people on over 560 routes around the world, saving an estimated 6.35 million tonnes of fuel.

Written by Peter Needham

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