The largest member of Boeing’s 787 family has commenced its flight test program.
The first 787-10 completed a four-hour, 58-minute over the skies of North Charleston, South Carolina on Friday.
Boeing pilots Captain Tim Berg and Captain Mike Bryan tested flight flight controls, systems and handling qualities during the flight.
“From takeoff to landing, the airplane handled beautifully and just as expected,” said Berg, who is the chief 787 pilot.
“The 787-10 is a fantastic machine that I know our customers and their passengers will love.”
The aircraft, N528ZC, is the third variant of the 787 and was first presented to employees, media and invited guests, including the US president, during the roll-out ceremony held at Boeing’s North Charleston, South Carolina facility on February 17.
It is capable of flying 6,430nm when configured with 330 passengers in a two-class layout, according to Boeing figures.
North Charleston is the location of the 787-10 final assembly line. First delivery to launch customer Singapore Airlines was expected to occur in the first half of 2018.
At 68.2m, the 787-10 is a 5.5m stretch on the 787-9 that began flying in August 2014. The first 787 variant, the -8, made its commercial debut in October 2011 with launch customer All Nippon Airways.
“The 787-10’s first flight moves us one step closer to giving our customers the most efficient airplane in its class,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive Kevin McAllister said in a statement.
“The airplane will give carriers added flexibility in growing their network routes and build on the overwhelming success of the 787 Dreamliner family.”
The 787 features a global supply chain where parts manufactured across the globe are delivered to Boeing facilities in Washington State and South Carolina for final assembly.
Boeing Aerostructures Australia, based at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne, builds components for the 787 moveable trailing edges, including the inboard flap, flaperon, outboard flap and aileron. The contract is worth an estimated $5 billion over 20 years and was Australia’s largest aerospace contract, Boeing has said previously.
The 787-10 has secured 149 orders from nine customers, according to the Boeing website.
Airfly posted a video of the first flight on its YouTube channel