The next big thing for airliners made its maiden flight today. Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner jet took off at 10:27 am (1827 GMT) from Paine Field near Boeing’s plant in Washington state in the US. As Boeing’s first new design model in over a decade, it takes advantage of advances in aviation technology and is capable of flying long-haul routes using up to 20 percent less fuel. At two year overdue, the milestone is critical for Boeing at the key to the future of the US aerospace company.
Billed as a “green” passenger jet, up to 50 percent of the mid-size, twin-aisle 787 Dreamliner is made of lightweight composite materials, such as carbon fiber-reinforced resin, compared with 12 percent on the Boeing 777, contributing to fuel efficiency, the company said.
The test flight was expected to last more than five-and-a-half hours — over Puget Sound and Washington state.
The biggest competition for the Dreamliner will be a new long-haul A350 built by Airbus, a unit of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, which is expected to fly in 2013.
Boeing says it has 840 orders from 55 customers for its new the cutting-edge plane, which it claims is the “fastest-selling all-new jetliner in aviation history.”
Sources: Airline Reporter, Raw Story