Vietnam Airlines has confirmed that the first of its new Boeing B787-9 Dreamliners has completed its first ‘B1’ test flight.
The newly painted Dreamliner took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, USA, at 02:09pm on May 14 crewed by a Boeing aircrew that checked all of the aircraft’s systems during the two hour, 36-minute flight. With the first flight now completed, the aircraft will undergo several more tests and a customer flight before being delivered to Vietnam Airlines.
Before it can take off for the first time, every Boeing commercial aircraft undergoes a comprehensive series of checks on the ground, from running the engines to flipping every switch and pushing every button in the flight deck, so that the cabin can be certified as meeting all US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. A rejected takeoff is also completed to test the brakes. The FAA-authorised Boeing aircrew then checks that everything is working correctly during the test flight, from the toilets and the in-flight entertainment system to the backup systems that ensure the aircraft can be safely landed even in the highly unlikely event of an engine failure.
The SkyTeam member will be the first airline to operate the new B787-9 Dreamliner non-stop between Southeast Asia and Europe, with Heathrow Airport becoming the first international destination on the Vietnam Airlines network to be served by the new aircraft.
Frequencies will rise from four flights to five or six flights per week between Heathrow and Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City following the deployment of the Dreamliners, before increasing to a daily service for Summer 2016.
May 29, 2015