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First 787 flight is imminent

Boeing is just days away from the first flight of its flagship 787 Dreamliner after nearly two years of delays, although its entry into service will come at a time of great uncertainty and, potentially, opportunity for the US airframer.

ZA001 has continued its march to its maiden sortie after completing the intermediate gauntlet on 7 June after nine days of round-the-clock testing of the aircraft systems in closed loop simulation.

The testing involved running multiple simulated scenarios that put the aircraft through standard flight profiles to single and multiple system failures.

Boeing says the testing simulated "about one week's worth of operations on the airplane and hundreds of discrete test conditions".

 © Boeing

The company has set a target of completing the 787's first flight by the end of June that will see chief programme pilots Mike Carriker and Randy Neville at the controls of what is expected to be a 3h flight over Puget Sound in Washington state.

Boeing expects to complete its eight-and-a-half month flight-test campaign by February 2010, in time to deliver the first production 787 to Japan's All Nippon Airways.


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