Boeing preps fifth of six 787 planes for test flights

  • Seattle (WA) – Boeing today said that it has resumed the production of its 787 Dreamliner planes yesterday. The fifth plane designated for test flights is the first to carry General Electric GEnx engines.

    Boeing currently has five of six test planes in production . The company said that power was restored earlier this week to the first flight-test airplane, ZA001, and production testing has resumed as the airplane prepares for first flight in the second quarter.
    Rolls-Royce engines are hung on ZA002, in the fourth and final production position in the factory. The third and fourth flight-test airplanes, ZA003 and ZA004, are in the third and second production positions.

    What makes ZA005 especially interesting is that it will be equipped with General Electric GEnx engines, which are currently tested on Boeing’s new 747-8 planes. These engines offer a thrust range of 53,000 - 75,000 lbs and promise a 15% better fuel consumption than previous engines. GE also noted that the engine uses 30% fewer parts and is designed to last longer.

    The sixth plane, ZA006, is in production “at partner sites worldwide,” Boeing said. According to the company, 30 Dreamliners are currently in various stages production. The 787 Dreamliner has orders for 895 airplanes from 58 airlines.