Pilots: Dreamliner's first flight 'about as flawless at it gets'

Pilots: Dreamliner's first flight 'about as flawless at it gets'

Boeing's (BA) latest Dreamliner aircraft, the 787-10, completed its first flight this morning, launching a flight program for the high-tech plane, Reuters reports.

The plane performed tests on flight controls, systems and handling qualities during the maiden flight. The 787-10 will now undergo comprehensive flight testing before customer deliveries begin in the first half of 2018.

Boeing is counting on the 787-10 to mirror the drama-free development of the 737 Max and 787-9, all products of a disciplined process it fashioned for new planes following the delay-plagued debut of the 787-8 almost six years ago. Airlines can choose engines from General Electric Co of the United States, or Britain's Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc.

The 787 Dreamliner family is a key part of Boeing's twin-aisle airplane strategy, which offers a modern, optimized and efficient airplane family in every market segment. The plant shares assembly of the 787-8 and 787-9 with Boeing's main widebody jet plant in Everett, Wash.

The "787-10" is the third variant of Boeing's new-age jet, following the smaller 787-8 - the original - and 787-9 models.

Otherwise, the 787-10 was created to be 95% common with the 787-9.

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The first flight took off at approximately 9:38 a.m., more than 20 minutes ahead of its scheduled departure and landed around 2:30 p.m., ahead of expected arrival time. Nine customers have ordered 149 787-10s to date.

As of February 2017, orders on 787 Dreamliner airplanes from Chinese customers had exceeded 120.

Since entering service in 2011, the 787 family has flown more than 152 million people around the world. "We have learned a lot across our development programmes".

Boeing said the new model is more fuel efficient than the 787's previous incarnations and is 10 percent better than competing aircraft.

Final assembly on the 787-10 began late past year at Boeing S.C.

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