The second of three Boeing 787-9 flight test aircraft, ZB002, touched down in Auckland on Saturday evening en route to Alice Springs for week-long hot weather testing.
ZB002 landed at Auckland after a 13 hour, 49 minute direct flight from Seattle, with Boeing taking advantage of the 787-9’s first trip outside the US to show the aircraft to launch customer Air New Zealand en route to Australia. The kiwi flag carrier, which is due to take delivery of its first 787-9 in July, has ten on firm order and options for another eight.
The 787-9 test aircraft is due to fly to Alice Springs on Monday, routing via Brisbane where it will clear customs and immigration. Once at Alice Springs it will undertake a number of hot soak tests where the aircraft’s environmental control system’s ability to cool the aircraft, both on the ground and inflight, after prolonged periods sitting on the ground in temperatures above 38 deg C (100 deg F), will be tested.
ZB002 is also due to undertake autoland tests at Alice Springs, which are not hot weather dependent but have been added to the Alice Springs visit to ensure the most efficient utilisation of the aircraft.
To date the three 787-9 test aircraft (two, including ZB002, are Rolls- Royce Trent 1000 powered, the third has GEnx engines) have logged more than 400 flight hours on over 150 flights.