Browsing Tag: First Flight

Two Boeing 747-8's at Paine Field on Saturday.

Two Boeing 747-8's at Paine Field on Saturday.

This Saturday I was at KPAE (where the Boeing 747-8 is built) and saw one of the jets with its strobes on, doing testing.

To most, seeing two jets sit there and only one with strobes on might not be the most exciting thing, but to me it was awesome. It is a great sign for the things to come, hopefully very shortly.

Liz Matzelle was able to get quite a few great pics of the Boeing 747-8’s and Matt Cawby caught a video with the strobes going on his KPAE Paine Field Blog.

Matzelle also caught a picture of Boeing re-painting registration numbers on one of the Boeing 747-8’s. Boeing had accidentally painted the same registration number (N747EX) on both aircraft. Hey if that is the only thing that goes wrong — I am ok with that!

Flight Blogger points out the Boeing 747-8 to fly first (RC501) is the 1420th 747 that Boeing has built since 1966. Hopefully we will see RC501 completing taxi tests later this week and a having her first flight as early as January 31st.

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Boeing workers around ZA002 before the test flight today.

Boeing workers around ZA002 before th002e test flight today.

ZA002, the second Boeing 787 took to the sky today, showing off its ANA livery. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to this flight, but there were others who saw it first-hand. Check it out if you missed it live:

* Dreamliner taxiing from @jasonpaur
* Take off from Future of Flight
* Aerial view of taxi test and take off from KIRO7
* Ground view of the take off from KING5
* Video of take off from KOMO4
* Head-on while taxiing and in the air with chase plane via @TxAgFlyer
* Overall flight path that ZA002 took via FlightBlogger
* Pictures from the Seattle Times
* Person on the ground taking a photo
* Video after ZA002 landed via KIRO7

ZA002 had some issues with its front landing gear during its first flight today. Check out the Seattle Times for what happened to the gear and about one of the chase planes almost running out of fuel.

Main Picture by @McNeight
The Boeing 787 on its way to the runway for its first flight yesterday.

The Boeing 787 on its way to the runway for its first flight yesterday.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner had a wonderful first flight yesterday. It was covered by multiple media outlets and many different formats, from twitter, to standard live TV, to web feed, to even streaming video on an iPhone. Reading the forums (and even my friend’s Facebook statuses) a lot of people keep asking “why should I care?”

These are the reasons I think even non-aviation nerds might care:

* The 787 is made up of 50% composite material. I have seen people say “I would much rather fly on a metal plane than a plastic one.” The carbon fiber used in this aircraft is not like any plastic. Carbon fiber is stronger and lighter than metal and I would much rather fly in a “plastic” than “metal” plane any day. Take a look at this picture of the inside structure of a Boeing 707. All the metal panels riveted together. Notice all the additional structure needed around the windows. Compare it to the inside of the 787. The 787’s composite body  is one solid structure and with fewer weak points. For example, the Boeing 747 requires about 1million holes to be drilled in its fuselage, but the 787 requires less than 10,000. (take a look at all the Boeing 707 and 787 material pictures I took at the Future of Flight)

* Boeing has designed this aircraft to bring back the joy in flying. There is revolutionary lighting and more space for people and luggage.

* The humidity level during flight will be higher, due to having composite materials that won’t rust. This will increase the comfort level for the passengers and reduce jet lag.

* Even with the delays and cancellations, there are still 840 orders for the Boeing 787.

* Due to more efficient engines and less weight, the 787 will reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by about 20%. Yet it still is able to go Mach .85, about the speed of its bigger siblings the 777 and 747.

* The aircraft has the largest windows in any passenger jetliner. This will provide a more open feel and give everyone a view to the outside. There are also no sunshades, but just a button which will cause the window to tint and block out the sun, but still have some ability to see outside.

* This plane was made to replace the highly successful Boeing 767. The 787-8 will be able to carry about 210-250 passengers around 8000 nautical miles, while the 787-9 will be able to carry 250-290 about 8250 nautical miles.

* With the 787’s range and ability to land at smaller airports, it will reduce the need for airlines to use hub systems and allow them to provide more non-stop flights. This of course lets passengers spend more time at their destination and less time getting there (however as an airline nerd, I love the process of getting there too, so maybe that is a negative for me?!) – Thanks Ian for pointing that out!

If those aren’t enough, it just looks really cool taking off with its wings flexing.

This is a very exciting time in aviation history. We just had the Boeing 787 Dreamliner take its first flight and now we wait for the Boeing 747-8 to take its first flight, which will probably be in about a month or so, which of course I will be following.

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Picture of Boeing 787 Dreamliner picture taken about 7am today

Picture of Boeing 787 Dreamliner picture taken about 7am today

It is almost 5:30am PST and we are about 4.5 hours away from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s first flight. The weather isn’t perfect, but so far it is still on!  This is a VERY special event for a very special airplane. Much like the Boeing 707 marked the beginning of the jet age, I think the 787 will mark the start of the next generation of how planes are made and how materials are used.

I will be enjoying the event at the Future of Flight, which has one of the best views of the runway. I hope to take many photos and a few videos, and I will post them on the blog as soon as I can. Catch second by second coverage of the events on my TWITTER ACCOUNT(you don’t need to sign up to read my tweets) and I will try to keep my blog updated as the events unfold. I have two laptops, a camera, an iPhone, and a video camera. Hopefully that will be enough to share this event with you :).

Of course, the first flight is not the end of the Boeing 787 trials, but just the very beginning. I hope and expect nothing else to delay the aircraft, but there are still a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. Jon Ostrower, the FlightBlogger, lays out what the Boeing 787 has left to do before it starts flying its first passengers.

I will be updating this post throughout the day…

* UPDATE 7:30am: Lots of people and media showing up at the Future of Flight. I just updated my picture for this blog with one I just took. Make sure to follow live feed via BOEING’S LIVE FEED and also the FLIGHTBLOGGER.

* UPDATE 8:20am: Flight aware has BOE01 listed for a 10:10am PST takeoff. Anyone guessing that might be the ZA001 Boeing 787 first flight? If you are in the Seattle area, the lobby/cafe/gift shops of the Future of Flight are open for you to warm up. You can also sign up for a raffle to win a Boeing 787 Model. If you come in you should come say hi to me!

* UPDATE 9:05am: Boeing employees are starting to line up along the runway. Hopefully that is a good sign. Pictures I have taken so far have been uploaded to my flickr account.

* UPDATE 10:32: Just watched the Boeing 787 make a successful take off. Videos and pics to follow soon!

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