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By Bernard Choi
On June 16, the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner with General Electric (GE) engines soared into the sky over Washington state. The inaugural flight marks the official Dreamliner debut of the GEnx engine, GE's next generation turbofan that is lighter, more fuel-efficient and easier to maintain.
The advanced engine technology plays a pivotal role in the 787's ability to help airlines fly nonstop between mid-sized cities with significantly less fuel.
The nearly four-hour flight is the culmination of years of hard work by thousands of people to take a big leap forward in aviation technology. The flight also propelled the 787 flight-test program past another milestone -- the five flight-test airplanes have now accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours.