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United Airlines First Boeing 787 Takes Flight
It’s been nearly a decade since the engineers at Boeing began work on Boeings newest work horse, the 787 Dreamliner. The jet is the most ambitious, state of the art airplane to hit the sky in decades, and a longtime dream of many Boeing engineers. Boeing’s promise to create the airplane of the future hasn’t been without its issues. Early on in the testing phases Boeing ran into some design flaws that would ultimately have Boing engineers heading back to the drawing table which delayed deliveries up to three years. The Dreamliner is the first passenger airplane to be made completely of composite materials. Light metals such as aluminum have traditionally been the primary choice for airplane makers. Engineers say the composite material is lighter and stronger then metal.
United Airlines is set to take delivery of their very first 787 in September and will be the first airline in North America to fly the new Dreamliner. Recently the airplane emerged from the paint hangar sporting the new post Continental Airlines merger colors. The airplane is currently in its final testing phases at Boeing’s plant in Seattle, Washington. The airplane made its first flight on Sunday, August, 22nd flying around the Seattle area for nearly three hours to testing some of the jets control systems. Sunday’s flight is just one of a series of test Boeing will perform before handing the keys over the United.
United has not announced the first official flight for the new airplane. Senior officials at United say the jet will likely ease into operations by flying mainly domestic routes before making a transition to international routes. United’s first 787 international route will be a non-stop flight from their hub in Denver, Colorado to Tokyo. United says the airplane will be ready to start service sometime in October.