A third airplane has joined the Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight-test program. ZA004, the fourth flight-test airplane to be built, took off on February 24th from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. The program plan called for ZA004 to fly before ZA003 because the data ZA004 is collecting is needed more quickly both for certification and development of the 787-9.
The airplane reached an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,144 m) and an airspeed of 255 knots, or about 293 miles (472 km) per hour. As the testing of the 787 fleet progresses, the airplane will fly at its expected in-service maximum altitude of 40,000 feet (12,192 m) and speed of Mach 0.85.