Not since ZA001, has a first flight of a 787 been shrouded in such mystery. ZA006, the last of six flight test aircraft, and second GEnx-1B-powered 787 is set to take to the sky Monday on its first flight. This is the first, first flight since June when ZA005 flew for the first time. ZA006 had planned to fly in June, though the aircraft's maiden sortie had been inexplicably delayed several times, pushing its first flight to more than 10 months after the flight test program first began in December.
ZA006 - Registration: N787ZA - Serial No: 40695 - Final Assembly: 3/14/09
Boeing declined to specify which of its test pilots will ferry ZA006 from Paine Field to Boeing Field by way of Moses Lake and will offer the names following the completion of the flight.
ZA006, which has a minimum data system, will primarily be tasked with lightning/eletromagnetic effects (EME) and high intensity radiated field (HIRF) testing. In addition, the aircraft will be tasked with further extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) testing, as well as systems functionality and reliability (F&R) evaluations.
Put simply, ZA006 is batting cleanup for the 787 flight test program, capturing a battery of miscellaneous tests required for certification.
One little known fact about ZA006 is that when fuselage sections showed up in Everett for final assembly, the doors were already painted.
While that seems unremarkable, you should know that they were painted in the Dreamliner livery, as they came right off of ZA001 following the July 2007 roll out.
Video Credit Liz Matzelle