First Air NZ Dreamliner to visit Auckland
Boeing's first “stretched” 787-9 Dreamliner will make a stopover in Auckland this coming weekend as part of a test programme.
Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the aircraft, which is 6m longer than the 787-8 and can fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 km).
“Boeing is proud to bring the 787-9 to Auckland to show Air New Zealand what the team has achieved,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes' vice president, 787 Development, Mark Jenks says in a statement.
“With more than 150 flights since testing began in September, the test fleet continues to perform very well, and we look forward to delivering the first 787-9 in mid-2014 as promised."
The aircraft, ZB002, is the second of three 787-9s dedicated to the test programme. As the only 787-9 test aircraft to be fitted with elements of the passenger interior, in addition to test racks and instrumentation, Boeing says it uses ZB002 to test the environmental control system and other aspects of aircraft performance.
After the test programme is complete, the aircraft will be reconfigured for delivery to Air New Zealand.
“Having one of Air New Zealand’s 787-9s touch down on Kiwi soil for the first time is hugely exciting,” chief executive Christopher Luxon says in a statement. “It’s a real reminder that we will soon welcome the first of these more modern, fuel-efficient airplanes into our fleet.”
From Auckland, ZB002 is scheduled to continue on to Alice Springs, Australia, where Boeing plans to conduct flight testing in hot weather.
A total of 26 airlines and other customers have ordered 402 787-9s, approximately 39% of all 787 orders.