Qantas’s first Boeing 787-9 has undertaken its maiden flight as the clock ticks down towards first delivery.
Operating as flight BOE269, the aircraft, sporting registration VH-ZNA, took off from Snohomish County Airport at Boeing’s Everett facility just outside Seattle at about 1120 on Thursday (US time) and landed at Grant County International Airport at Moses Lake about 90 minutes later, according to flight tracking website Flightaware.
The 787-9 was on the ground for about 20 minutes before making the 35-minute return trip to Boeing’s Everett facility.
Qantas has said previously it planned to accept delivery of the aircraft in mid-October, with VH-ZNA expected to be welcomed in Sydney on the morning of Friday, October 20.
The aircraft, the first of eight 787-9s on firm order, will first enter service on the Qantas domestic network while the airline gains experience operating the type before it is deployed on Melbourne-Los Angeles flights in December. Nonstop Perth-London flights begin next March.
The name of the first 787-9 remains unknown. One image showed some tape covering up what is likely to be the name of VH-ZNA under the roundel of the old flying kangaroo symbol near the nose of the aircraft.
Qantas said earlier in 2017 the names for its first batch of Dreamliners would be inspired by the country’s indigenous heritage, famous landmarks and native animals.