Boeing 787 Dreamliner Number ZA004 Makes First Flight <


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Boeing 787 Dreamliner Number ZA004 Makes First Flight

Daniel Guevarra

February 25, 2010 - A third airplane has joined the Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight-test program. ZA004, the fourth flight-test airplane to be built, took off at 11:43 a.m. local time on Wednesday from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. The program plan called for ZA004 to fly before ZA003 because the data ZA004 is collecting is needed more quickly both for certification and development of the 787-9.

Captains Heather Ross and Craig Bomben completed a three-hour-and-two-minute flight at 2:45 p.m., landing at Boeing Field in Seattle. Flight-test personnel were also on board to monitor airplane performance. "Airplane No. 4 operated flawlessly," Ross said after landing. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us but I can't imagine a better start to the flight test program for this airplane."


Ross will serve as chief pilot for ZA004. This airplane will be used to accomplish the following types of tests: aerodynamics, high-speed performance, propulsion performance, flight loads, community noise and extended operations (ETOPS) and other test conditions.

During flight, the airplane reached an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,144 m) and an airspeed of 255 knots, or about 293 miles (472 km) per hour. As the testing of the 787 fleet progresses, the airplane will fly at its expected in-service maximum altitude of 40,000 feet (12,192 m) and speed of Mach 0.85.

"We are continuing to make good progress on the flight test program," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The team is staying focused and disciplined in keeping the priority on safety and execution of the plan."

The Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is powered by two Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines, the latest generation in the successful Trent family. The Trent 1000 is the latest member of the Rolls-Royce Trent family to take to the skies. Trent engine technology has accumulated more than 37 million flying hours since the first Trent entered service in 1995. At take off each Trent 1000 engine generated as much power as 1,000 family cars.


Rolls-Royce has a long track record of reducing the environmental impact of its products and developing new low emission products, while maintaining exceptional operating performance. The Trent 1000 is playing a key role in enabling the Dreamliner to reach its environmental targets. Engine development has involved more than 10,000 cycles of testing over 5,500 hours. In November Rolls-Royce announced the successful completion of 3,000 cycle ETOPS (Extended Range Twin Operations) testing on the engine.

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