The flight is expected to last for more
than five hours as the pilots test the flight characteristics of the
plane and the engineers on the ground crunch the raw data that is
streamed back to them. The 787 prototype will land at Boeing Field
which is just south of downtown Seattle after the test flight.
This first flight kicks off a
nine-month testing phase for the 787 which will conclude with the
delivery of the first production aircraft to All Nippon Airways in Q4
2010 – a total of 840 orders have been placed from airlines across
The 787 prototype is just one of six aircraft that will be used during the nine-month testing period to gain FAA certification.
Boeing is hoping that most its major hurdles with the 787 Dreamliner
are behind it, there will be new competition in the coming years from
A350 XWB. Like the 787, the A350 XWB's fuselage and wings are
made primarily of composites, however, materials like
aluminum and titanium materials are also used in the airframe. And
also like the 787, the A350 XWB has a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 and
promises drastic cuts in fuel consumption.
over 500 orders for its A350 XWB and the aircraft is scheduled to enter service in 2013.
quote: Boeing has no plans to compete with the A380 any time soon. Boeing's own market analysis has identified that the market for the A380 is too small, and they do not want to compete there.
quote: The A350 also doesn't use the full barrel fabrication that Boeing used for the 787 fuselage. There, I have no idea what the repercussions are for that but I can image more parasitic drag on the airframe, and maybe a simpler manufacturing process.