A Royal Brunei Airlines 787-8 on the Boeing factory flight line at Everett – Photo: Bernie Leighton
A new 787-8 rolled out of the Boeing Everett paint hangar recently that represented two new milestones – the aircraft is the first 787 headed to southeast Asia, and first delivered to Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA). Even better, it’s the first Boeing jet to sport RBA’s new livery.
Royal Brunei, based in the small southeast-Asian Sultanate of Brunei, has been around for quite some time. The airline formed in 1974 with a fleet of two Boeing 737-200s serving the surrounding region (Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia). As the airline expanded over time, so did the size of aircraft that they operated. They now run a regional Airbus A320-family fleet and a long-haul fleet of ex-Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200ERs. But soon they will be adding the 787 Dreamliner to their fleet.
One of the HondaJets prepares for takeoff at EAA Airventure in Oshkosh – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com
An unusual-looking business jet made an appearance at OshKosh 2013 and was followed in by a second identical aircraft. What were these unfamiliar aircraft? They were the third and fifth FAA-conforming HA-420 HondaJets, appearing for the first time together.
A uniquely-designed aircraft, the HondaJet will enter the small business jet market once the final rounds of FAA certification and testing are completed, estimated in 2014. Designed to carry six people (1 or 2 crew, along with 4 or 5 passengers), this small, light jet is a mixture of cutting-edge design, state-of-the-art technology, and a few new concepts to make it an expected class-leading aircraft.
The two examples flown to AirVenture were frame numbers 3 & 5, of a 6 aircraft-test fleet. Frame number 3, which joined the test program in 2011, is being used for mechanical systems testing, while aircraft number 5 has the first production-fitted interior and should anchor the final tests. Seeing the two aircraft side-by-side at Oshkosh on the very first day attracted quite a large crowd – including me.
You can file this story into the “better late than never,” category. Paine Field Aviation Day happened way back in May 2013 and I have been meaning to share my photos, but kept on forgetting.This year was bigger, better, and filled with some surprises that were worthy of still sharing.
This is the only Hamilton H-47 [first flown in 1928] in the world left flying (reg NC-879H). It was caught taking off from Paine Field with a Dreamlifter and 787 Dreamliner in the background.
Admission to the yearly event is only $10 and gives visitors access to the Historic Flight Foundation, the Flying Heritage Collection, lots of airplanes on the ground, and as many other awesome activities and fly-bys as one can handle.
Although there were many scheduled flights that were entertaining, as more of an airline guy, I found the standard Boeing movements just as great. Continue reading below to see some of the photos of the day, including a Boeing 747-8I, Antonov AN-124, a few Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and more.
The first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (ZB001) on the flight line at Paine Field (KPAE). Photo by Bernie Leighton.
Yesterday, I was airborne over Paine Field again to capture Boeing’s gorgeous new 787. The 787-9. This aircraft will not only carry more passengers than its shorter sibling, but also offers a higher take-off weight. This will allow customers who use this frame to open routes that were never possible with current aircraft.
Although this is the first Boeing 787-9 to come out of the factory, it will not be the first to be delivered to launch customer Air New Zealand. This frame (ZB001), along with the next two that will come out of the factory, will be dedicated test aircraft. They will, however, be refurbished and make their way to Air New Zealand as ZK’s NZC and D by the end of next year.
With the first engine-run occurring earlier this morning, Boeing is hoping that the first flight will occur, “later this summer.” Afterwards, Boeing will conduct a number of different flight tests to earn airworthiness certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).