United Testing First Boeing 787 Delivery

United's First Boeing 787 Dreamliner Being Fueled at BFI

United’s First Boeing 787 Dreamliner Being Fueled For Test Flight at Boeing Field

The new build Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the rave of the airline industry at the moment as Boeing ramps up production and makes additional deliveries of the revolutionary, composite aircraft. Prior to entering service, United is taking the aircraft through providing and certification flights. Yesterday, September 26, United took the above aircraft on a 5 hour 21 minute flight across the northern United States according to a filed flight plan which we obtained fromFlightAwareflight tracking.

Update: United flew the first Boeing 787 from Seattle Boeing Field (BFI) to Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) on September 28, 2012. Upon landing in Houston, the Dreamliner was met by the fire department for a water cannon salute. The flight to Houston was conducted at a cruising altitude of 41,000 feet in 3 hours and 57 minutes, wheels up to wheels down.

Crew members will have an opportunity to become familiar with the 787-8 Dreamliner while it is based at United’s hub at Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The aircraft will continue with proving and certification flights as Boeing prepares to make additional 787 deliveries to United this year.

Dreamliner a Hit with ANA and JAL

Over at ANA, All Nippon Airways, and JAL, Japan Airlines, the Dreamliner has been a hit with passengers on long-haul journeys because of the lower cabin pressure, humidity, and LED mood lighting. JAL has been operating the Dreamliner on the Boston (BOS) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT) route plus other international routes such as Tokto-Narita (NRT) to Moscow’s Domodedovo Intl Airport (DME).

ANA has been using the aircraft on domestic routes as well to Frankfurt Intl (FRA) in Germany from Tokyo’s downtown Haneda Airport (HND). ANA is preparing to launch the 787 on the Seattle (SEA) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT) route.

Flight Path of United 7708 - Boeing 787 Dreamliner Test Flight

Flight Path of United 7708 – Boeing 787 Dreamliner Test Flight

United 787 Dreamliner on Ramp at BFI - Tail Number N20904

United 787 Dreamliner on Ramp at BFI – Tail Number N20904 – prior to test flight

United conducted the test flight as United flight 7708 and it is the longest flight United has made, to date, with the new aircraft.

The new aircraft has a wingspan of 197 feet and 4 inches along with a cruising speed of 560 mph, making it the second fastest aircraft in the United fleet behind the colossal Boeing 747-400 which travels at a cruise speed of 567 mph. While the speed difference may not appear significant, it does add up over a long-haul flight over the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. United plans on using the aircraft on long-range routes where it will trim time from the overall flight.

Satellite based WiFi internet will also be installed on the Dreamliner aircraft pending modifications and FAA certification. In the meantime, an in-flight entertainment system exists with personal televisions at every seat.

Powered by two GEnx-1B engines and made of composite materials, the plane will be a game changer when it comes to fuel efficiency and emissions, particularly on flights to the European Union which has imposed a controversial emissions trading scheme.

United remains confident they will finish the proving and certification process in time to make its official inaugural flight on November 4, 2012. However, its been rumored United may use the aircraft on a few passenger flights prior if they finish the process early.

Special thanks to Carl Dombek atwww.TravelPro.usfor the photography from Boeing Field.

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