Dec 15, 2009 3:06 PM by Associated Press
A new jetliner that's carrying a lot of Boeing's hopes for the future has taken off for a test flight over Washington state.
Some 25,000 people braved the cold and damp at Paine Field in Everett, Wash., to watch Boeing's new 787 passenger jet take off for the first time. The plane is unlike anything Boeing has built before, with about 50 percent of it made of lightweight composite materials.
The jet maker says it will run quieter, put out fewer emissions and also burn 20 percent less fuel than similar sized jets made with an aluminum shell.
There are a number of other creature comforts, including better air quality and larger windows that can be lightened or darkened at the touch of a button.
The pilots on today's flight are putting it through a four-hour flight, and tests that a Boeing spokesman says are meant to make sure the airplane flies the way it's supposed to.
It's the first of six 787s being used in a nine-month flight test program. Boeing has orders for 840 of the new 787s. It plans to make the first delivery to Japan's All Nippon Airways late next year.