EVERETT, Wash. -- The first addition to the Boeing 787 family has taken to the skies.
The 787-9 took off Tuesday morning from Paine Field, near the Everett factory where the plane was assembled.
After five hours in the air, the first 787-9 now has its first flight in the log book. The trip had pilots avoiding bad weather near the Canadian border and finding clear skies over Eastern Washington to perform a variety of basic tests.
Boeing vice president of 787 development Mark Jenks spoke to reporters at Boeing Field in Seattle, calling the outing, about as close to a flawless first flight as I could have imagined.
Boeing spokeswoman Kate Bergman said the 787-9 is 20 feet longer and can seat 40 more passengers than the original 787-8, which carries between 210 and 250 passengers. The new version of the Dreamliner also can carry more cargo and fly farther.
Bergman says the 787-9 has 388 firm orders, which account for 40 percent of all 787 orders.
After flight tests and certification the first 787-9 will be delivered next June to the launch customer, Air New Zealand.