The 787-9 Dreamliner parked next to the Boeing Future of Flight and a sweet Dreamlifter!
A while back, I started to see photos of a purple and pink 787 and wondered what the heck it was all about. Then I saw that people had the chance to get up close and personal with the plane at the Boeing Future of Flight, and I realized that I needed to figure out the full story. It turns out that the special livery is inspired by the Employees Community Fund (ECF) of Boeing. And what is ECF, you might ask? Good question. According to Boeing:
“Since 1948, ECF has funded approximately $1 billion to local communities across the United States. The ECF has 20 chapters across Boeing, giving employees an opportunity to make a difference where they live and work. Each chapter is managed by local employees who make grants based on the needs of their communities. The special livery celebrates the commitment and generosity of our employees in their local communities.”
- The ECF design is mostly a big decal.
- The fun graphics near the rear of the 787.
I would say that is a pretty worthy cause to support this unique livery. This is also special, since it is not actually all paint, but is comprised of the largest decal ever on a composite aircraft. Boeing has certified the decal technology, so now airline customers can start using them. I am hoping it means more special liveries and please, oh please, I hope it means less European white designs.
Starting at about 1pm on 2/9 and ending on the morning of 2/10, Boeing 787 ZA236 created this epic design. Click for larger. Image from FlightAware.com.
The fact that Boeing just spent almost 19 hours flying one of their 787 Dreamliners around the country, creating a “787” and Boeing logo has multiple levels to it. First, it is just frek’n awesome. Even though Boeing made a “747” in the sky recently with a 747-8F and also flew over 48 states with a 747-8I, this one takes the cake. Those other two mostly required straight lines and really the “747” was a bit shaky. Not only were these 787 pilots able to successfully make a “787,” but also the full Boeing logo — what an accomplishment. Not quite sure how a pilot might put that on their resume, but I hope that they do!
Boeing’s goal for the flight was not just to make a cool design in the sky, but to also put the GEnx-1B engines to the test. From Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, stated this morning on his blog, “It was an 18 hour Maximum ETOPS (Extended Operations) Duration flight test for a 787-8 with GE engines. Our team coordinated with the many air traffic control centers, choosing the routing to avoid restricted airspace. In the end, the flight covered over 9,000 nautical miles.”
ZA236 inside the Boeing factory on 9/25/11. Photo by AirlineReporter.com
Digging a bit deeper, I think this is strong evidence to show how much Boeing has changed over the last few years. I have followed Boeing’s change from being a company that really did not reach out to fans to one that celebrates the fact that they are loved by so many. From Boeing starting and becoming successful with social media to creating a YouTube channel, they have come a long way and they keep showing their growth.
Boeing had a task to operate a 787 Dreamliner for a long test flight and they could have easily ran a big circle or up and down the coast. Instead, they decided to put in quite a few hours to plan and execute this historic sky-writing flight.
I am sure that Boeing was hoping to keep this a surprise, but I know there are many fans out there who track every movement of every Boeing 787 Dreamliner and it is hard to keep this sort of thing hidden from the internet — especially when it takes almost 19 hours to complete.
So cheers to Boeing for pulling this off and to those eagle eyes who caught it!
SEE SCREEN SHOTS OF THE DESIGN IN PROCESS
This Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight is EPIC!
This is a live shot (well about 5min old) of flight aware catching a Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking an interesting route east across the US. It might look a bit like a “787” and the future path is showing that it might be in the process of making a “-8.”
I gave a quick call to Boeing and they aren’t will to say what is going on (yet), but I expect more details to be released once the plane lands back at 7am at KBFI (where it took off). Until then, you can spend the next 12 hours watching this Dreamliner make an epic flight.
Last August, Boeing did something similar with the 747-8, making a “747” flight plan over the US during the 747-8F’s final test flight.
Working on more info and will update…
Wow, I didn’t zoom out enough (thanks Pat) … The flight path shows not only are they making a “787-8” but also the entire Boeing logo. You might be an AvGeek if watching this live gives you goose bumps! This is truly a work of art.
Did the special flight of this Boeing 787 get called off? Or is Flight Aware showing wrong info.
Uh oh… the flight status is not showing the full Boeing logo anymore and now the aircraft is heading back to KBFI, with a return time of 10:51PM PST.
Flight Aware is not known to be the most accurate and now the landing time is showing at 8:34pm. My guess is the 787 is continuing on with its full logo.
On track to do the full logo.
Looks like the plane is making a nice arch up to the northeast and a sharp turn to the southeast, meaning it is still on track to make the full logo. According to Jon Ostrower, this is aircraft is ZA236 (which is set to be delivered to Air India) and is working the final flying certification flights for the GEnx-1B engines.
Gotta love Flight Aware.
Taken at 9:05PM PST, Flight Aware is back to showing the original flight plan that we haven't seen for a while.
Yea, I am going with Flight Aware doesn’t know what is going on. Looks like the aircraft is on target to making the origional design and I am not quite sure what this one is supposed to be.
What a cool design!
UPDATE 2/10 7:15AM
As most of the US slept last night, the Boeing 787 kept on its mission to mark the sky with a full Boeing logo. As of now, the Dreamliner is still in the air and is scheduled to land at Paine Field at about 8:30am. The aircraft is taking the same journey west as it did east, back tracking over the original “787.”