Boeing announces Dreamliner test flights

Boeing announces Dreamliner test flightsSan Francisco - Test flights for the much-delayed Boeing Dreamliner are due to start in June and the first customers are on schedule to receive the plane in the first quarter of 2010, the US aviation company said Wednesday.

Test flights for the aircraft have been delayed for more than two years, but Boeing has now filed 60 per cent of the paperwork needed for certification of the 787, Mike Delaney, chief project engineer of the 787 programme, said at a press conference.

Boeing will use six 787's for the test flight programme, four of which will be powered by Rolls Royce engines and two of which will use engines made by General Electric. In total the test programme will include more than 3,000 air hours.

Some 900 Dreamliners have been ordered so far, making the mid- sized, wide-body jet the fastest-selling wide-body airliner in history. The planes cost about 200 million dollars each and Japan's All Nippon Airlines is slated to be the first customer.

Boeing expects the plane to be about 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the Boeing 767 it is designed to replace. (dpa)