Boeing's lanky new 787-10 Dreamliner has left the nest for the first time. The maiden flight of the longer, more spacious plane lasted just shy of five hours, and according to Boeing it went off without a hitch.
Taking off from the company's South Carolina facility, the 787-10 spent four hours and 58 minutes in the air under the command of test pilots Tim Berg and Mike Bryan, who put the plane through the paces to check its flight controls, systems and handling.
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"From takeoff to landing, the airplane handled beautifully and just as expected," said Berg.
First announced at the 2013 Paris Air Show, the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner adds an extra 18 ft (5.5 m) of length to its stablemate, the 787-9, giving it room for 330 passengers and 15 percent more cargo. In the same breath, Boeing boasts that the 787-10 has 25 percent better fuel economy per seat than its predecessors, and it's claimed to be 10 percent more efficient than other planes of its size.
Final assembly of the craft began in December, before it was officially unveiled during a Presidential visit back in February. Boeing will now perform more comprehensive flight tests of the new Dreamliner to prepare it for its first deliveries to carriers in the first half of next year. Nine companies, including United Airlines, British Airways and Singapore Airlines have placed 149 orders for the new plane.
The 787-10 Dreamliner can be seen taking off on its first flight in the video below.