United's first 787 Dreamliner takes flight

United will become the first North American airline to receive one of the Boeing aircraft.

United Airlines' first 787 Dreamliner completed its first production flight on Sunday, as Boeing prepares to deliver the jet to the airline in late September. The delivery will make United the first North American airline to receive a Dreamliner.

Boeing pilots took off from the company's Paine Field in Everett, Wash., and flew for more than three hours around the Seattle area while they carried out tests of the plane's controls and systems at high and medium altitudes.

The flight was part of a series of procedures Boeing carries out before handing over its 787 jets to airlines. These include fueling, systems tests, engine runs and taxi tests.

While United is set to receive the jet in September, it is not expected to put the plane into regular service until October. According to USA Today, United's senior vice president of sales, Dave Hilfman, said the airline plans to use the jet on domestic flights before transitioning it to longer flights. He said the jet will eventually fly from Houston to Lagos, eventually replacing the company's 777 aircraft. United also plans to inaugurate its first new route with the 787 Dreamliner - daily non-stop service between Tokyo and Denver - next March.

Photos: United

via [USA Today]

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