The third Boeing 787 to fly, test aircraft ZA004, made its first flight on February 24 from Paine Field, Everett, landing three hours later at Boeing Field in Seattle.
“Airplane No 4 operated flawlessly today,” Captain Heather Ross, who will be ZA004’s chief pilot, said after landing. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but I can’t imagine a better start to the flight test program for this airplane.”
During the flight the aircraft reached an altitude of 30,000ft and a speed of 255kt.
Boeing says ZA004, which is registered N7874, will be used for aerodynamics, high speed, propulsion, flight loads, community noise and ETOPS testing.
It flew before ZA003 “because the data ZA004 is collecting is needed more quickly both for certification and development of the 787-9”, according to Boeing. ZA004 is fully instrumented, whereas ZA003 is fitted with a partial passenger interior.