The Boeing 787-9 is progressing with its flight test programme smoothly, and Boeing is on track to deliver the aircraft to launch operator Air New Zealand by the middle of the year.
Speaking to Flightglobal at the Singapore air show, Scott Fancher, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' vice president of airplane development says the airframer's three flight test aircraft have so far accumulated 750 flight hours. A fourth aircraft is also "nearing completion" in final assembly, and will soon join in flight test activities.
“The flight test programme is progressing extremely well. We’ve seen no major issues and are on track to meet customer commitment,” says Fancher. He adds that certification of an aircraft typically takes place a month before delivery, and that the -9 is on track to achieve that.
The 787-9 made its international debut last month with a visit to its launch operator in Auckland, New Zealand.
Air New Zealand has 10 787-9s on order, and a further eight options. The carrier has said that it plans to deploy its -9s on services from Auckland to Perth, Tokyo and Shanghai. The aircraft will be configured with 302 seats, comprising 18 lie-flat seats in business class, 21 in premium economy and 263 in economy.
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