Just a few days shy of 3,000 hours of flight time, Boeing has conducting it’s 1,000th flight test on the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, the most anticipated, advanced, and important aircraft to grace the commercial fleet in almost 50 years. The twin-jet airliner wowed the world when it was first unveiled in July 8, 2007 (get it, 7/8/07?) and immediately became the fastest selling airliner in history. The Dreamliner will be the most fuel efficient commercial aircraft in the world thanks to it being built primarily with composite materials. Along with being 20% more efficient than the Boeing 767, it will be lighter, quieter on the inside and outside, and offer a smoother ride thanks to a new wing design. Originally scheduled for a Spring 2008 launch date, the project suffered delay after delay due to malfunctions and complications. It currently is scheduled to be put into service by the end of the year.
If 1,000 flight tests and almost 3,000 hours of flight time seems a bit much to you, you’re probably right. In comparison, the last game changer to hit the airline industry was the Boeing 747 back in the 1960s, and it only went through about 1,500 hours of flight time before being put into service. The 787 is being tested with two different engine configurations. The flight test team claims to be 80% done with the testing on the Rolls-Royce engines (ha, and you only thought Rolls made fancy cars) and 60% done with the testing on the General Electric engines (yes, the same GE that makes your light bulbs and washing machines). If all goes well the Dreamliner will be ready to pass certification by the end of the summer. But don’t be surprised if you catch us posting about the Dreamliner’s 2,000th flight test milestone before that happens. Because, you know, it’s not like this baby is prone to delays that set it back a few years or anything like that.
Via the 787 Dreamliner Flight Test