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Boeing's 787 Dreamliner to make debutant test flight in Dec


The 787 Dreamliner. Image credit: Boeing

NEW YORK (AFP/PTI): US aerospace giant Boeing said it had fueled its new 787 Dreamliner in preparation for a first test flight planned this month.

“We've already put the fuel into the airplane,” Boeing spokeswoman Yvonne Leach told AFP, adding that the operation occurred in recent days.

A static test of the fuselage was completed Monday and an analysis of the results could take about 10 days, she said.

Boeing reaffirmed two weeks ago that its delay-plagued 787 Dreamliner remained on track for its first test flight by the end of 2009.

It had announced on June 23 a fifth delay in the 787 Dreamliner programme to fix a structural problem.

Dow Jones Newswires reported Tuesday the first test flight could come between December 14-22, but Leach and one of her colleagues refused to provide any date.

“We're not being schedule-driven. We do need to make sure that the testing is done carefully,” said spokeswoman Mary Hanson.

Both spokeswomen confirmed that the flight would take place this month, according to a calendar set in August.

Boeing launched the Dreamliner programme in April 2004 and initially had planned to deliver the first airplane to Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways in the first half of 2008.

Delivery of the first 787 to ANA has been pushed back to late 2010. The highly anticipated long-haul 787 aircraft is seen as key to the US aerospace giant's future.

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