It felt like I flew into the future of the company: Pilot | world | Hindustan Times
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It felt like I flew into the future of the company: Pilot

Boeing’s cutting-edge 787 Dreamliner soared on Tuesday in a milestone first flight the US aerospace giant hopes will prove a “gamechanger” for the global aviation industry.

world Updated: Dec 16, 2009 23:49 IST

Boeing’s cutting-edge 787 Dreamliner soared on Tuesday in a milestone first flight the US aerospace giant hopes will prove a “gamechanger” for the global aviation industry.

The Dreamliner’s first flight, more than two years behind schedule, marked the beginning of a world-spanning flight test program expected to deliver the first airplane to Japanese launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) in the fourth quarter of next year, the company said.

Clad in Boeing test-flight blue livery, 787 emblazoned on its tail, the Dreamliner took off under overcast skies at 10:27 am at Paine Field near Boeing’s Everett plant in Washington state and landed at 1:33 pm at Seattle’s Boeing Field.

The pilots took the airplane to an altitude of 4,572 metres and an air speed of about 333 kilometres per hour, “customary on a first flight,” the company said.

Chief Pilot Mike Carriker and Captain Randy Neville said they tested some of the airplane’s systems and structures in the nearly three-hour flight, as on-board equipment recorded and transmitted real-time data to a flight-test team at Boeing Field.

“We smoked it,” Carriker said at the news conference, calling the 787 “a great jet.” “It felt like I flew into the future of the Boeing Company.”

About half the Dreamliner is made of composite materials, such as carbon fiber-reinforced resin, compared with 12 per cent for its predecessor, the Boeing 777, which made its first flight in 1994.

For passengers, the 787 means larger windows, better lighting, more storage space and cleaner, more humidified air than current airplanes, it said.