Boeing has set two new world records with the 787 Dreamliner for both speed and distance for the airplane’s weight class.
ZA006 departed from Boeing Field in Seattle at 11:02 a.m. on Dec. 6 and set the distance record for its class (440,000-550,000 lbs.) with a 10,710 nmi (19,835 km) flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh, with credit for 10,337 nmi (19,144 km). This record had previously been held by the Airbus A330 based on a 9,127 nmi (16,903 km) flight in 2002. The flight went from Seattle across the U.S. to Nantucket. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the airplane entered European air space at Santiago, Spain, and proceeded down the Mediterranean, across Egypt to Luxor, across the Middle East and over India to Bangladesh.
ZA006 – (c) Boeing
Following an approximately two-hour stop for refueling in Dhaka, the airplane returned to Seattle on a 9,734 nmi (18,027 km) flight. The airplane landed at 5:29 a.m. on Dec. 8, setting a new record for speed around the world (eastbound) with a total trip time of 42 hours and 27 minutes. The Dreamliner flew over Singapore, the Philippines and Guam before entering U.S. airspace over Honolulu and returning to Seattle. There was no previous around-the-world speed record for this weight class.
The 787 carried six pilots, an observer for the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), and operations and other Boeing employees – 13 people in total.
The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is the first airplane to provide both long distance capabilities with mid-size capacity (210-250 passengers in a three-class seating).