We’ve had another first flight. This time it was a brand new Dreamlifter, the third of four planned Dreamlifters. The new airplane received FAA certification about a week ago after a successful flight in Taiwan.
Dreamlifter 3 – taking off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport last week. The Certificate of Airworthiness was hung on the airplane after the 2 hour, 47 minute flight.
The Dreamlifter is a specially modified 747-400 jet that transports major assemblies of the 787 Dreamliner. The first two have been in use since 2007. This Dreamlifter will enter service by early July. Modifications began on the fourth airplane in February and will conclude next year.
A second test flight took place just this week, and next, another will be performed with an Evergreen International Airlines (EIA) pilot on board for their verification flight. Evergreen is the operator of the Dreamlifter fleet.
After that, we complete the post-flight intermediate inspections and then take “re-delivery” of the airplane from Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation (EGAT) – which, despite the similar name is not connected to Evergreen International Airlines, by the way!. EGAT is a joint venture of EVA Air and General Electric, and is the company which has done a marvelous job transforming the 747s from passenger airplanes to one of the most unique cargo airplanes in the world.
The handover in the next few weeks would complete EGAT’s responsibilities for Dreamlifter 3. And shortly after that EIA can begin officially operating the airplane.
We plan to have a total of 4 Dreamlifters in the fleet. And now that we’re about to enter number 3 into service, we’ll not only have a backup when one of the airplanes is receiving scheduled maintenance, but we’ll also have more flexibility to deliver 787 assemblies to Everett from our partners around the world.