Here are six amazing photos of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Boeing 40C flying together. When I first saw these photos I thought they were too amazing to be real. However I did confirm with Boeing that they are very much real.

From the owner’s of the Boeing 40C, “The Pemberton Family wants to thank the visionaries at The Boeing Company for their support in making some history this past Saturday. Boeing test pilot Mike Carriker flew Dreamliner serial number 001, the newest Boeing commercial aircraft, for some formation flyby shots with the Pemberton’s Model 40, the oldest flying Boeing commercial aircraft. The flights were just west of Mt. Rainier, Washington.”

It is amazing to see Boeing’s oldest flying aircraft with their newest. A true enthusiast can’t help but get goosebumps seeing these photos!

Click any image for a larger version below:

UPDATE: See how the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Boeing 40C photos were taken.

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: david@airlinereporter.com

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Paulo M


Vic H

Beautiful..in less than 100 years too.

WOW thanks so much for posting these. Seeing this historic flight must have been amazing.

Yes, they are very much real. The 787 Chief Pilot himself was pilot-in-command on ZA001 for the photo shot.

Thanks Jim!

So amazing.

A lot of people are wondering how the photos were taken since the planes fly at very different speeds. Do you have any insight?


Incredible, 2 historic planes together in the skies

One clue that this is real is the 787 flaps are extended full to slow down as much as possible. Still I think it was always passing the model 40 (probably 200 knots compared to about 100 knots) – this is why the model 40 is way in the foreground and the 787 a long ways in the background. Notice the first two shots show the same cloud passing in the background (it has three lumps on the top) and the 787 in the same time goes very quickly past the 40C. You can see the same thing in shot 4 to 5 (look at cloud next to 787 nose in shot 4 and tail in shot 5), and shot 6 to shot 4 (cloud above engines in shot 6 is above tail in shot 5) – I bet from these pictures you could find the speed difference.

Whoops – the last comparison should be between shot 6 and shot 3, not shot 6 and 4/5.


Erik, you talk complete rubbish.

Getting there slowly but surly!!! Air Seychelles our National Airline will fly the dreamliner in a Creole Spirit Style! We are on board!!!

Uncle B

Such technical marvels of the “Cheap Oil Era” Both required fossil fuel for flight. So sad to see then surpassed by China’s Nuclear/electric sourced, electric bullet train network, complete with social infrastructures, producing on veggies and rice, products for the U.S.A. as we speak. Such dramatic, convulsive changes stand before the Americans in the next few decades of oil scarcities and the paradigm shifts socially to be rent upon us. We will go from a foreign oil energy dependent economy to a domestic electric economy, furnished by Solar, Wind. Wave, Hydro, Tidal Geo thermal, and nuclear sources just to compete on a level economic field with Asians, or perish a Third World entity without but a strong Air-force dependent on foreign oil totally! These two antiques of and age gone by, the Cheap oil Era are reminders of the constant changes required to make progress happen. Park them beside the large Radial aircraft engines, the Duesenburg cars and the Harley Davidson motorcycles as the new age rechargeable electrics take over and the bullet trains replace all we once loved and cherished,once held as security against the harsher realities of life. America will morph once again into a new Golden age of Electricity in the next few decades or die.

While I do agree that we need to ween ourselves off of fossil fuels I do not see that happening in the short term. Like most airliners the 787 will have a life span of 20-40 years. Which will likely give the time needed to build an infrastructure needed for a High speed rail line (HSR. HSRs need dedicated track with banked turns and no grade crossings. To reach the cities that will be serviced by jet liner we are talking about hundreds of thousands of mile of track that would need to be laid. How many homes, private and public land would this affect, not to count the likely trillion+ dollars this would cost? Also a big decision is if we can lose the speed of travel that airliners bring us. The cruise speed of the 787 is mach .85 at 35 thousand feet that is about 580mph. The fastest HSRs travel about 170mph So based on this it would take 3.5 times as long to get anywhere and this doesn’t even take into considerations the stops a train would take as it crosses the country. So while I do believe America will morph into a new golden age to avoid a global catastrophe it will likely be alternate fuel sources (https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/07/alaska-airlines-boeing-and-others-work-towards-using-sustainable-biofuels/) vs bullet trains as you described.

Charles Carlton

What we are seeing in these remarkable photos is the result of a lot of very careful planning on the ground, then some very good radio communication between the Dreamliner, the Boeing Model 40, and the photo plane.

What appears to be formation flying between the 787 and the model 40, is actually formation flying between the model 40 and the photo plane, while waiting for the 787 to overtake them, then snapping the photos at the right instant.

And the end result being………a truly one-of-a-kind and incredible series of photographs ! Congratulations to all involved !

I think Ben has pretty much nailed it regarding high speed rail; What no one seems to be taking into consideration in all these HSR conversations is, the huge difference in size of the countries presently using HSR, as compared to the size of the United States; Big difference! How big is Japan ? How big are the European countries with HSR ? 175 MPH speeds may be sufficient in these relatively small countries, but by comparison, the U.S. is a very BIG place ! So I really think you will be seeing people using the airlines to get around in the U.S. for quite a few years to come.

Also……we have been hearing about “going to run out of oil in the next five years” for at least the last 50 years, and here we are, almost 2012, and we still have quite a lot of oil left. ( And finding more every day )

One other point that the HSR advocates never seem to take into consideration;
assuming you ever find the huge amount of capital necessary to build the HSR and it’s infrastructure, you are still going to be obliged to find a whole lot of people wanting give up their current airline time advantage, and start spending about three times as much time riding your “Bullet Trains”.

I’m not saying we will never have HSR in the U.S.; what I AM saying is, don’t hold your breath; you may have a very long wait !

It’s actually a nice annd useful piece of info. I’m happy that you shared this useful info with us.

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