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Boeing's 787 Dreamliner takes to skies for first time


The 787 Dreamliner on its maiden flight. Image credit: Boeing

EVERETT (US) (AP/PTI): US aerospace firm Boeing Co's new 787 jetliner finally took to the skies Tuesday, more than two years later than the company had planned.

Pilots Michael Carriker and Randall Neville lifted off in the big blue and white jet shortly after 1830 GMT from Everett's Paine Field on a four-hour flight over Washington state, beginning the extensive flight test programme needed to obtain the plane's Federal Aviation Administration certification.

Before landing at Seattle's Boeing Field later, the two-member crew planned to perform a variety of basic tests and systems checks, said Boeing Commercial Airplanes spokesman Jim Proulx.

“They will essentially make sure that the airplane under normal circumstances flies the way it's supposed to fly,” he said.

The huge blue and white aircraft paused for several minutes at the end of the runway, adding to the tension for the several thousand Boeing employees, customers and airline executives standing on the tarmac to watch.

About 25,000 people braved the cold and damp to watch the 787 take off. Paine Field operations director Bruce Goetz said most of the crowd were Boeing employees or members of the general public.

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