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Boeing has taken the next step towards delivery of its long-awaited next-generation aircraft, with the start of pilot training.
Ten pilots from launch airline All Nippon Airways have begun simulator training in Seattle and Tokyo.
Sherry Carbary, VP for Boeing flight services, said: “The start of customer training is an exciting milestone on any new airplane program.”
The pilots will be trained with a full-flight simulator, as well as desktop simulation training, before they starting to fly the Dreamliner itself, according to Carbury.
Most pilots will then take between five and 20 days to “transition” to the new plane, depending on pilot experience, while B777 pilots will need only five days as there is a lot in common between the two aircraft types.
The first delivery of the Boeing 787 to ANA is due to take place in the third quarter of this year, some four years behind the original schedule.
Production of Boeing’s next generation aircraft has been beset with difficulties, with a fire caused by an electrical fault last year the latest to cause a delay on the delivery date.
Hideyuki Shibuichi, ANA’s SVP of flight operations, said: “This is a significant milestone for our company.
“Getting our pilots trained and prepared is essential to being ready to take delivery of the airplane later this year.”
Boeing has installed eight 787 training suites in five locations around the world: Seattle, Singapore, Tokyo, London, Gatwick and Shanghai.