787 achieves first engine start

Washington DC
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Boeing today started the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines powering the 787 for the first time in Everett, kicking off another key phase of testing that will validate the 'more electric' systems architecture.

This brings ZA001 another significant step closer to first flight by the end of June.

Boeing and Rolls-Royce confirmed a successful engine start for the first 787 Dreamliner.

"We were very pleased with the performance on the engines during this test," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 programme. "We will now get ready for our intermediate and final gauntlet tests."

Boeing drew power from the Hamilton Sundstrand Auxiliary Power System to start the Trent 1000 engines.

The engines were spooled up and run to idle for the first time at 0931h local time, spewing a cloud of white smoke as engine storage oil was burned off.

The milestone marks the first all-electric start of a commercial aircraft engine on a commercial jetliner, with previous electric starts undertaken at test facilities.

The test was punctuated by basic systems checks while monitoring hardware vibrations, as the shut down logic was closely monitored to ensure proper functionality.

Boeing says the 787-8 is "on track" for entry into service in the first quarter of 2010 with Japan's All Nippon Airways.