Boeing brings 787 to Victorville for flight testing

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Boeing's second 787 flight test aircraft, dubbed ZA002, featuring the colours of its launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA), touched down today at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California for a three-week stay as part of the new aircraft's flight test campaign.

"Our confidence in the reliability of this airplane grows day by day," says Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 programme. "Taking the airplane out of state for the first time is a big step, but one we're ready for."

The aircraft, which will be accompanied by 150 Boeing flight test engineers and support personnel, will spend its time in Victorville conducting ground effects testing along a 15,000ft (4,570m) runway, the second longest public runway in the USA.

During the flight tests in Southern California, ZA002 will be flown close to the runway and collect data to determine the "aerodynamic effects and performance of the airplane during the takeoff and landing phases of flight", says Boeing.

"There is a long runway and plenty of level, clear land along the approach to the runway," says Randy Neville, chief pilot of ZA002. "We can operate there without disrupting air traffic control or other commercial aircraft."

The 787's visit to Victorville marks the first time a 787 has landed outside of Washington state.

Three 787 flight test aircraft have accumulated roughly 260h of flight time as part of a 3,100h flight test campaign that will culminate in first delivery to ANA in the fourth quarter.