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Bill Radke: Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is finally set to fly for the first time — as early as tomorrow. That plane is more than two years behind schedule. Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman has our story.
Mitchell Hartman: The 250-passenger jet has sophisticated electronics and lightweight composite plastics that’ll make it 20 percent more fuel-efficient than similar aircraft flying today. The 787 will go farther, and have better air quality in the passenger cabin as well.
Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx:
Jim Proulx: We’re very excited to get the airplane in the air and begin our rigorous flight-test program so we can validate this game-changing airplane and get it in the hands of our customers.
Proulx says Boeing expects to deliver the first Dreamliners a year from now. Aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton isn’t so sure.
Scott Hamilton: There have been so many things that have gone wrong, I know Boeing is going to try to move heaven and earth. But a flight-test program is designed to uncover problems.
Hamilton says those problems could mean more delays. Boeing already has 840 Dreamliner orders, but the delays have given European rival Airbus a chance to catch up with its new jet, which debuts in 2013.
I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.
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