Boeing's revolutionary lightweight 787 Dreamliner took to the skies for the first time on Tuesday, marking a new era in air transport as it became the largest passenger jet to fly made mostly of composite materials.

Painted in Boeing blue and white, the fuel-efficient wide-body jetliner eased off the runway near its factory 30 miles north of Seattle into a cloudy sky for a four-hour foray around Puget Sound and inland Washington state.

The Dreamliner's first test flight is more than two years behind its original schedule due to labor and supply problems.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby and Kyle Peterson; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)