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Boeing 787 Sets Speed, Distance Records

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

14 December 2011

Boeing has established two new world records with its newly-launched 787 Dreamliner aircraft, breaching existing records in terms of speed and distance achieved by an aircraft in its weight class.

"Speed and distance capabilities are fundamental to the value the 787 brings to the market," said Scott Fancher, Vice President and the General Manager of the 787 Program. "These records are a great way to demonstrate that this airplane is the game-changer we have promised."

The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is the first airplane to provide both long distance capabilities with mid-size capacity (210-250 passengers in a three-class seating configuration), allowing airlines to open new, non-stop routes in high demand by the traveling public. The 787-8 is 20% more fuel efficient than similarly-sized aircraft.

The sixth 787, ZA006, powered by General Electric GEnx engines, departed from Boeing Field in Seattle on December 6 and set the distance record for its class with a 10,710 nautical mile (nmi) flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh. This record had previously been held by the Airbus A330 based on a 9,127 nmi (16,903 km) flight in 2002.

Following an approximately two-hour stop for refueling in Dhaka, the airplane returned to Seattle on a 9,734 nmi (18,027 km) flight. The airplane landed at 5:30 am on December 8 having departed at 11am on December 6, setting a new record for speed around the world (eastbound) with a total trip time of 42 hours and 27 minutes. There was no previous around-the-world speed record for this weight class.

The 787 carried six pilots, an observer for the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), and Boeing employees – 13 people in total.

Boeing holds world records for longest distance flights in five weight classes with records set by the KC-135, 767-200ER (extended range), 777-200 and 777-200LR (longer range). The 777-200 also holds the speed record for its weight class.

TAGS: aviation

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