Boeing 787-9 and Bombardier CSeries NOT duelling over first flights
Updated with links to today’s flight by Jetstar’s first 787
There is just a touch of over-hype going on this coming week over the coincidental likelihood of the the first flights of the all new design the Bombardier CSeries regional jet and the derivative Boeing 787-9 taking place within a day of each other.
But it is going to be fascinating. Different jets intended for mutually exclusive market segments will show themselves in flight for the first time.
(Of local interest, Jetstar’s first 787-8 took off from Everett on its initial pre-acceptance flight from Everett today with photos and report here on the Airchive site.)
Canadian jet maker Bombardier has declared that subject to the weather, which is looking good at present, the CSeries 100 prototype will fly tomorrow Monday but Tuesday Australian time from its production base near Montreal.
There is a collection of videos, photos and first flight updates and links to a live videocast here.
According to Boeing the ‘window’ for its first flight of the stretched 787-9 version of the Dreamliner opens on Tuesday US time or Wednesday here. As it is taking place near Seattle where the weather is almost perpetually horrid, it would take something like visible water spouts over Puget Sound for it to become a factor!
The 787-9 is of course the jet that will have the undivided attention of Qantas and Virgin Australia when it comes to how the certification flights for the new higher capacity and longer ranging variant of the Dreamliner progress. Not to forget Air New Zealand, which is the long waiting launch customer for this version. Air NZ will receive this very same jet that takes off after this Wednesday as the first 787-9 to go into service around the middle of next year, once the test equipment is no longer needed and it is given the Kiwi carrier’s choice of fit outs in its cabins.
Qantas has options over as many as 50 Dreamliner 787-9s for delivery from 2016 at discount prices Boeing must wish it never negotiated late in 2005 when it took its order for up to 115 Dreamliner 787s including options and purchase rights.
These options will need to be converted to firm orders starting sometime next year with substantial payments as each comes due or they will expire and give Boeing a chance to sell them for about three times the price agreed with Geoff Dixon and Peter Gregg and Margaret Jackson all those years ago.