Boeing confirms that the first production configured 787, and the first scheduled to be handed over to ANA in the third quarter, made its maiden flight on Jan 19. The aircraft, ZA102, took off from Paine Field at 3.53 pm and landed just over one hour later having completed a typical B1 pre-delivery flight as well as a landing gear actuation test.
Boeing says ZA102 will be a temporary member of the flight test fleet, focused on helping to demonstrate 787 extended operations (ETOPS) and completing function and reliability testing. “Earlier flight test airplanes were configured more uniquely for other testing required as part of the certification program,” it adds.
The aircraft is set to undergo a series of FAA certification ground tests on Jan 19, some of which are believed to include at least two door-related evaluations. No details have yet emerged of the interior configuration of ZA102, or when the initial ETOPS and F&R flights are due to begin.
Early days - ZA102 on the assembly line (Guy Norris)
The increased tempo of the remaining test fleet meanwhile continues to build with ZA001 scheduled to fly a mission in which major failures of the fly-by-wire primary flight control system will be simulated to test the effectiveness of back-up redundancies. ZA004, flying out of Boeing’s Yuma, Arizona test site, will continue fuel jettison tests accompanied by a chase aircraft. Unlike earlier tests, a good image of which was posted by Flightblogger, the latest phase is expected to use one of Boeing’s classic Lockheed T-33 chase aircraft rather than the usual T-38.
T-33 will be filming fuel jettison from ZA004 (Dahemody)