NOTE: This story was first published August 18th of 2011 -- It was quite a year as far as Oshkosh was concerned... especially with the first local showing of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner... which JUST completed its flight test program this week and is heading VERY shortly for full production.
The world's first jetliner made largely of carbon fiber is still officially "experimental,' sharing that title with many of the homebuilts and other aircraft that were on display at the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual week-long show in Oshkosh, WI. But that similarity will end soon.
The final test flight occurred this past Saturday onboard ZA102, the ninth 787 to be built. Capt. Mike Carriker, chief pilot for the 787 program, brought ZA102 back to its home base at Paine Field in Everett at 1358 PDT following a 90 minute flight that originated in Billings, MT. During the flight, the 14-person crew completed simulations of a dispatch with a failed generator and failed fuel flow indication.
"When ZA102 returned to Paine Field, it brought back with it the hopes and dreams of the many thousands of men and women of Boeing and our global partners who have worked so long for this day," Fancher said. "Their hard work and commitment to this amazing airplane has been a true inspiration. We look forward to making our first delivery to our good friends at ANA in September."
Flight testing continues for 787s with GE engines and for Boeing test points not related to certification.