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787 breaks endurance records

Boeing has pushed its 787 to the outer limits of performance, breaking two endurance records for an aircraft of its size.

787 test aircraft ZA006, powered by twin General Electric GEnx-1B engines, departed Boeing Field in Seattle at 11:02 local time on an eastward route to Dhaka, Bangladesh on 6 December covering a distance of 19,835km (10,710nm) overflying New York and Luxor, Egypt on its leg to South Asia. The leg broke the distance record for the aircraft's weight class, 200 to 250t (440,000 to 550,000lbs), gaining credit for 19,144km (10,337nm).

The aircraft and its 13 passengers, including six pilots and a National Aeronautic Association (NAA) observer, spent approximate two hours on the ground in Bangladesh before returning to Boeing Field flying eastbound at 05:29 local time 8 December. Upon its return to Boeing Field, the 787 completed the around-the-world-flight in 42h 27min, establishing a world record for its weight class.

 787 ZA005 GEnx departure

 © Boeing

The second leg saw the aircraft depart Dhaka, overflying Singapore, the Philippines and Guam before re-entering US airspace north of Hawaii.

The first record targeted by the 787 dates from December 2002 and is an endurance record for the 200-250t weight class aircraft held by an Airbus A330-200, which flew from Toulouse, France to Melbourne, Australia, covering 16,901km (9,126nm).

Boeing holds world records for longest distance flights in five weight classes, set by the KC-135, 767-200ER, 777-200 and 777-200LR, while 777-200 holds the speed record for its weight class after an April 1997 attempt between Boeing Field and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Read more about the record flights and view maps of ZA006's route

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