March 31st was an important day for the commercial aviation industry as two new aircraft took to the skies for the first time.
A319neo First Flight
At Hamburg, Germany, the first Airbus A319neo (new engine option) flew a 5-hour test flight.
This flight was the occasion for the crew to assess the general handling of the aircraft and to check the main systems.
The A319neo, registered as D-AVWA, will be based in Toulouse in order to complete its flight test programme.
Boeing 787-10 First Flight
Then, in Charleston, SC, Boeing’s new 787-10 – the longest Dreamliner variant – took off on its own first flight shortly after 9.30am in front of a crowd of 6,000 people.
It flew up to 20,000ft, with its crew stating “It flew like a dream”. Like the A319, key systems such as flaps and gears were tested, as well as different flight speeds to check the aircraft’s handling characteristics.
With a number of key airline customers lined up, the 787-10 can hold up to 330 passengers and offers the same impressive economics of its siblings.