Last we left N7771, it had just completed its high speed taxi test. Boeing could no longer test on the ground and it was time to take flight. On June 12, 1994, the 777-200 took to the cloudy skies of the Pacific Northwest for the first time. Once it departed the Everett concrete, the 777 began the most rigorous testing regime for a Boeing commercial aircraft in the company's history.
All the tests that the 777 underwent in 1994 and 1995 will be repeated on 787 when it takes to the skies. Incidentally, with its maiden voyage slated for the end of the 2nd quarter of 2009, we could actually see 787 first flight coincide with the 15th anniversary of 777 first flight. We can look forward to the same 787 road show as flight testing, like that on 777, goes global.
Episode IV: Taking Flight