787-9 first flight today

The first flight of the Boeing 787-9 is scheduled for 10am PDT today. The Weather forecast is cloudy but no rain until this afternoon. Landing is about 3pm.

The first flight will be webcast here.

We’ll be on-site for the first flight, so we will be Tweeting @leehamnews but won’t be in a position to post here until later today.

23 Comments on “787-9 first flight today

  1. Going to be interesting re the laminar flow. That concept is an on again -off again for at least 40 years that I am aware of. Biggest problem is plugging of holes with dirt-bugs- or ice( water)

    However- most of that debris may be prior deflected by wings and body turbulence or inlets on bottom surface perhaps streamwise.

    IF it works – would be a major advance..

    • Don,
      Why do you think they waited until the 787? Is there something particular to the 787 that allowed this technology to be attractive, or did the technology finally mature enough, or is it just that the 787 is the first all new Boeing airplane since the merger when they acquired the patents?

      • FWIW – patents only last about 19 to 20 years may be one reason

        Just a bunch of guesses – SWAGS below

        using only on tail may be another reason

        and special processing of slots and holes may be a third reason, but laser piercing of titanium has been around for many decades

        Ti is compatible with composites, unlike aluminum

        and a unique arrangement of air inlet versus exhaust to get laminar flow may be another

      • Thanks Don. I have much experience designing with HS steel and aluminum but virtually none with composites. Are Al and composites incompatible because of differences in thermal expansion, or is it something else?

      • The most significant problem has to do with corrosion- carbon and aluminum ( most alloys) make a poor to fair battery when in contact and with a bit of moisture

  2. Can’t wait until the second member of the B-787 family is flying. This will be a big day for Boeing, BBD had their day yesterday with the CS-100, and Airbus recently had theirs with the A-350.

    • Hmmm, interesting. I might be wrong, but I think since the 787 problems really started(battery issues), this is the first time AAB has been vocally critical about it, he’s been near silent and the time he spoke up he dismissed most of the issues as minor. I’m guessing there’s an order from QR coming up and discounts are needed.

  3. Around the time of the Paris Air Show I expected the first flight of the CSeries to take place shortly before or after the A350. But now it looks like it will be the 787-9 instead.

  4. Watched the takeoff. What a beautiful aircraft! The -8 is a looker but the extra length makes the -9 look even better IMHO. A nicely proportioned machine.

    It’s nice to see the -9 production start going smoothly and the first flight happening on schedule. Hopefully the flight test program will move forward without a hitch as well.

    It will be interesting to see the changes, if any, that come out of testing, and to hear about the performance of the HLFC system and the improved engines.

  5. It seems most aircraft look better in the intermediate length between the base model and the ultimate stretch. The most spectacular expression of this is probably the Challenger business aircraft and its super stretch version, the CRJ1000. The CRJ700 and 900 are the ones that look the best between those two extremes.

  6. Looking at the 787-9, it looks like contrary to what I thought, the 787-10 won’t be the “perfect looker” of the family. It might actually end up being the 77W, A346 and 747-8 of the group, sausage shaped and awkwardly long.

  7. From what I have seen, the 787-9 is coming to market pretty smoothly and may inspire Airbus to reconsider their plans as to how they are going to develop the a350-800 as a competitor. The a350-800 is a nice aircraft, but I see nothing compelling about its performance compared to the 787-9. Maybe I am wrong…just haven’t seen it. I mean, for about the same “Listed” price, the specs I’ve seen say the 787-9 carries slightly more cargo and 10 more passengers that the a350-800 in a 3-class configuration. So…I’d say the 787-9 looks like the better deal.

  8. The A350-800 has more wing, engine, cabin width/comfort and payload-range then the 787-9. And it offers commonality with the A350-900 and A350-1000.

    If all that is irrelevant, the 787-9 seems lighter / more effficient because its smaller. But I haven’t seen the numbers. Maybe the A350-900 is the biggest competitor for the 787-9 on long heavy flights to Asia, where the 787-10 won’t go.


  9. I love the way comfort is always bandied about when describing how the A350 is so much better than the 787 in every respect. To me the whole XWB thing is merely a marketing schtick. A whole 0.5″ extra width to the seat is so much more comfortable! Apply the XWB moniker to the A380, where it actually makes a difference. In reality, most will not notice any difference in seat width between the 787 and A350.

    More engine can be both a plus and a minus. It’s a minus if it is needed so a heavier airframe can do the same job.

  10. Mike for years Boeing boosted cabin comfort compared to Airbus aircraft. How the Boeings provide superior comfort:


    .. until around the time the 787 became 9 abreast, the XWB surfaced and the 777 was suddenly a 10 abreast aircraft and the A380 set new standards. Since then comfort is irrelevant & Airbus should stop whining about it.


    • Never said comfort is irrelevant, and let’s face it, Boeing obviously never said that either. I’ts just amusing to me how 0.5″ per seat warrants a big XWB!

      • I regularly fly domestic routes in 737’s and A320’s operated by United (25k to 50k per year), and quite frankly, have not noticed a difference in comfort between the two types even though there was a 1″ seat width difference in some configurations, at least according to seatguru. For me, economy is an unacceptable interference fit either way.

        On the other hand, for me, pitch is king. It is very noticeable, especially when the person in front of me slams my laptop shut by suddenly leaning their seat back.

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