Boeing started the 787's twin Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines today at its Everett, WA facility for the first time.

The milestone kicks off another key phase of testing that will validate the 'more electric' 787 systems architecture and 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.

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.

Aircraft spotter Liz Matzelle, who was about 2200 feet away at the time of the start, remarked that the engine start was barely audible from that distance.

"Lights are still on but I'm serious, there's no way to tell if the engines are running or not," said Matzelle.

787 engine start

 © Liz Matzelle

787 engine start