Boeing to add 2 craft to Dreamliner tests

Boeing says it will add two 787 Dreamliners to its test fleet to ensure that the new plane achieves certification on its new extended schedule.

Those two aircraft are in addition to the six the manufacturer has assigned to flight testing. Five of those aircraft are now in testing. A sixth is being fitted with instrumentation.

The two additional test aircraft will primarily do long-range route proving for Boeing, operating in mock airline operations to test how the new planes will handle the rigors of airline service. The long-haul test flights will also provide airport ground crews experience in loading, fueling, maintaining and servicing the new planes.

Boeing last week delayed for the sixth time the delivery of the first aircraft to launch customer All Nippon Airways. That delivery is now set for the first quarter of 2011, nearly three years behind the original schedule.