Boeing: 787 passes initial airworthiness testing

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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Boeing Co. says it has completed initial airworthiness tests on its new 787 jetliner, which means the planes can now fly with flight test engineers in their cabins.

Boeing said Friday that the two test planes have completed 15 flights to check out aircraft systems, performance, stability and handling. In the next phase of the testing, engineers will fly along to conduct detailed tests. The successful initial flights also will allow more planes to enter the flight test program.

The first 787s have been flown to an altitude of 30,000 feet and at about three-quarters of their cruising speed. Boeing says that in the coming weeks, the aircraft will be taken to more than 40,000 feet and up to full cruising speed.