ZB-001 (N789EX) the first Boeing 787-9, takes to the sky – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com
At 11:02am this morning, ZB-001 the first Boeing 787-9, became airworthy as it departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington on its first flight.
Boeing’s inaugural flight of the 787-9 was originally scheduled for 10am Pacific Time, but as is usual for ’œBoeing Time’ there was a few delays. The weather may not have been as perfect as the flight tests for yesterday’s CS100 flight from Mirabel, but there was no rain, which is always a positive for Seattle this time of year. With over 10,000 employees in attendance and lots more of the Everett flight line crews watching (plus thousands more watching the live webcast), it was a spectacle that many were anxiously awaiting.
In the darkness of night, the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner rolled out of the factory in Everett, WA yesterday. Although the 787-9 will first sport a Boeing livery during testing, it will soon be painted into one of two of Air New Zealand’s new liveries, since they will later take delivery of the aircraft.
Final judgement might have to wait until the new 787-9 is fully painted [and seen in light], but it already appears the dash nine might look more beautiful than the dash eight.
Dang those planes get low. A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 landing at LAX.
When I tell my friends that I am going to fly to a city for a day trip, most of them think I am crazy, but I love it. On Saturday, I got up at 4:00am to start my journey to Los Angeles to hang out with some airline dorks at the LAX In-N-Out.
For only $40, we were able to drive this baby around. Only put 20 miles on her though.
Brett Snyder (AKA CrankyFlier) organized the event and about 30 people from around the west coast came to talk planes, eat some good food and spot for airplanes. I was heading down with my friend Mal and even though it is pretty easy to get from the airport to the In-N-Out, he was able to get a great deal on a Ford Mustang Convertible, so we decided to cruise in style. Problem is that we were requested to pick up @danwebbage and @briadavi and a convertable gets a bit tight with four guys in it, but we made it work.
Thai Airways Boeing 777-200. Walked down the street a bit to get better lighting. Love this livery.
I had never been to this In-N-Out (I know crazy right), so I was very excited. I have seen many photos and heard great things about the ability to spot, but photos and words can really not do it justice. The planes get so darn low!
A Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 takes from from LAX.
After hanging out at the In-N-Out, it was time to head over to the other side of the airport: Imperial Hill. It was definitely challenging making sure poles, lines and trees did not get in the shot (it is almost like people do not design infrastructure with spotters in mind), but the views were great.
The planes were exciting, but it is hard to beat talking to other aviation dorks about airlines. I am surely looking forward to next year’s event. Now, it is time to put my energies into Aviation Geek Fest 2013.
After being at LA for less than 12 hours, it was time to board my Virgin America flight and head home.
I arrived at the Future of Flight at about 9am to get ready for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA005 to take flight. The weather wasn’t doing so great with mist, fog, and a low ceiling. There was no official time, but I was guessing 10am based on previous first flights. I thought the plan would be for ZA005 to complete high-speed taxi tests and then take off. However, time kept going and ZA005 just sat there. I heard a few different rumors of the reason, from a low ceiling to the chase plane not being ready. At least we got to watch a brand new Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 take off and land.
I had worked hard (took me three different ways) to get my iPhone hooked up to my tri-pod, so I could do a live feed while recording in HD, but I ended up having to tear it apart anyhow.
At 12:20pm I had to leave for an appointment I couldn’t miss. Since I promised a live feed, I left my iPhone with Sandy at the Future of Flight to do the live feed for me (THANK YOU SO MUCH SANDY)! However at about 2pm I got done with my appointment and made my way to a computer and saw the ZA005 had not taken off. BOO YA!
I hurried back and as I pull in I could see people along the fence still watching, so I knew I hadn’t missed anything. I grabbed my video camera and ran. Just as I got to the top of the hill and video camera turned on, ZA005 started rolling. For just running up a hill and not having a tri-pod ready, I don’t think the video turned out half bad.
I am never going to get sick of watching the 787 Dreamliner take off. They are so graceful, queit and oh man watching those wings bend is amazing. I am going to write up a blog with a little more information on these new GEnx engines being tested out today.
Over all I think the live feed function went well. By the time ZA005 took off there were 250 people watching the feed. I am excited to use that feature in future events.
Sigh. I really should have my own photos and video of today’s two flights. But my car had other plans. I was on a camping trip this weekend, with every intention to make it back to the Future of Flight in time for ZA003 Boeing 787 Dreamliner to take flight and then watch the second Boeing 747-8 to take off. However my car broke down and had to be towed 75 miles back to civilization. If this would have happened on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s first flight, I would have ditched the car and taken a taxi! Luckily some other great people were there to cover the action.
Above is a video of ZA003 taking off for the first time today, taken by Liz Matzelle (@ImperfectSense). This is the third Boeing 787 built, but the fourth to take the skies. ZA004 took to the skies beforehand on February 24th. ZA003 is being used to test the interiors,which I was able to tour of back in early February.
If seeing a Dreamliner taking off wasn’t enough, the second Boeing 747-8 also took the sky today after a few delays. The first 747-8 took flight on February 8th. I am currently trying to track down any video or photos taken of the flight, but I did find a photo from Kevin (@TxAgFlyer) showing RC22 waiting to fly.
Boeing recently announced before today’s flight, the Boeing 747-8 has completed 13 flights and 33 hours of flight time. The tests are going as planned — which is a good thing. Five pilots have flown the airplane taking it up to 30,000 feet and up to Mach .65. Boeing has completed initial stall tests and other dynamic maneuvers, and performed an extensive checkout of systems on the airplane. They are hoping to get the third Boeing 747-8 in the sky soon.