The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner with General Electric (GE) engines, the airplane referred to as ZA005, completed its first flight at 6:29 p.m. (Pacific time) yesterday, following a 3-hour-and-48-minute flight over the state of Washington.
GE executives and Boeing employees were on hand to welcome Captains Mike Bryan and Mike Carriker to Boeing Field in Seattle following completion of the flight.
“The airplane handled just like I expected,” said Bryan, who captained the flight. “It was just like every other 787 flight that I’ve flown in the last several months – smooth, per plan and excellent.”
“We’re pleased to introduce the fifth Dreamliner to the flight-test fleet and to start flight testing with GE engines,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It’s taken the collective resources and dedication of our teams to get to this day. There’s just nothing like a first flight to validate that it has been worth the sacrifices we have all seen our teams make in the past several years.”
ZA005 will be used to test the General Electric engine package and demonstrate that the changes made with the new engine do not change the airplane’s handling characteristics.
The sixth, and final, 787 to join the flight test program is expected to fly before the end of July.