Wishing desperately I was in Seattle this week when Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 787-9 took off from Paine Field airport north of Seattle for a three hour and ten minute flight. It reached an altitude of 11,800 metres (39,000 feet) and an airspeed of 360 knots during its B1 test flight during which the two pilots throughly checked all systems to ensure performance while simultaneously checking full cabin functionality of every aspect of the cabin is tested in-flight.
Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Boeing 787-9 and this aircraft (tail registration ZK-NZE) is the first of ten of the stretch dreamliner. This plane in its distinctive “All-Black” colours will start flying from Auckland to Perth in October. Then Christchurch, Shanghai and Tokyo will be added by the end of 2014. The other dreamliners colour scheme will be in the new black and white scheme which the whole Air New Zealand fleet is moving to. The design incorporates the iconic New Zealand “fernmark” logo.
The plane’s 302 passengers will be accommodated in a three class layout:
- 18 “herringbone” Business Class seats with ‘memory foam’ mattress, quilt and two full size pillows.- all passengers have aisle access
- 21 premium economy seats (41” pitch and 19.3″ width) arranged 2-3-2 – the airline has dropped its Spaceseat in favour of a “Business Lite option”
- 263 economy seats in a 3-3-3 layout with 31-32″ pitch except in 14 ” Skycouch” rows which have 33″ pitch and legrests plus armrests which flip all the way up to create a 152cm (5 foot) long “sofa-like” flat surface.
My 787 pinterest archive here.