Boeing has reactivated the fourth 787 development aircraft in readiness for initial flight tests of the first engine for the stretched 787-9.
The aircraft, ZA004, which has been in long-term storage at Boeing Field, Wa., since last year, completed a series of check flights June 8-9, before departing for flight tests in Kona, Hawaii on the June 10.
The aircraft is currently powered by the latest Rolls-Royce ‘Package B’ standard Trent 1000 engines but in July will be fitted with the first set of upgraded ‘Package C’ standard engines which will later power the 787-9.
ZA004 was one of the original four Rolls-powered development 787s and joined the test program in February 2010.
Package C will be rated at 74,000-lb. thrust, and is designed to have 1% better fuel burn relative to the current engine, which itself clawed back a 2.2% improvement over the first versions of the Trent 1000.
The engine is due to be certified mid-year, and will be the baseline engine for the 787-9 when it enters service with Air New Zealand in mid-2014.
The Package C version is also due to begin powering 787-8s from around June 2014.
As well as improved fuel burn, the Package C engine incorporates modifications to increase mass flow and exhaust gas temperature margin. Main changes include modified blades in the intermediate pressure compressor and a semi-active case cooling system for improved tip clearance control in the low-pressure turbine.