Boeing has marked the longest flight of a 787-9 with an international debut in Auckland, home of its launch customer Air New Zealand.
The second of three 787-9 aircraft dedicated to the flight-test program, ZB002 flew direct from the Boeing Field in Seattle to Auckland International Airport. It departed on the 3rd January at 9:55 a.m. local time and landed 13 hours, 49 minutes later. This particular aircraft is scheduled to continue on to Alice Springs, Australia, for hot weather testing.
The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the standard 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 km) with the same environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized aircraft. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Boeing is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. Twenty-six customers from around the world have ordered 402 787-9s, accounting for 39 percent of all 787 orders.