August 9, 2022

Boeing’s Dreamliner Lands in Japan for Week of Tests

The plane, called the Dreamliner, touched down at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport from Seattle early Sunday to applause and a white “Welcome to Japan” banner held by flight attendants and workers. Two fire trucks shot out celebratory arches of water as the aircraft approached the hangar.

ANA even offered a live video feed of the landing on Ustream. As of Sunday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 37,000 times.

The pilot Masayuki Ishii said he stayed calm during the flight but grew emotional upon landing and seeing the excitement on the ground.

The 787’s much-anticipated arrival marks the near-end of a long wait by ANA, the first customer in line for the next-generation aircraft. Boeing missed the initial May 2008 delivery goal and has repeatedly delayed its introduction because of problems in development.

The twin-engine jet is made mostly of carbon fiber and other composite materials instead of aluminum, making it lighter and 20 percent more fuel-efficient than other mid-sized airliners, according to Boeing.

As airlines around the world grapple with rising fuel prices, demand is high for low-consumption planes.

Boeing, based in Chicago, has taken orders for 835 of the Dreamliners, and hopes to deliver the first one to ANA in August or September.

ANA has ordered 55 787s. Qantas and United Continental Holdings have each ordered 50, and Japan Airlines has ordered 35.

Rival Airbus is expected to have its competitor to the 787, the A350, ready to enter service with Qatar Airways in 2013. Airbus has racked up nearly 600 orders for the new jetliner, which is also made mainly of carbon-fiber polymers.

The test aircraft will fly several of ANA’s domestic routes out of Tokyo this week. Maintenance crews will also practice refueling, towing and other routine servicing operations. It is scheduled to depart for Seattle on Saturday, according to ANA.

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