Why Did Boeing Spend All Night “Drawing” a 787 in the Sky?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update 8/3/17 12:09pm: Boeing just sent along the following explanation:
Boeing flight test teams are performing an 18 hour endurance flight with a 787-8 Dreamliner. Rather than fly in random patterns, the test team got creative, flying a route that outlined a 787-8 in the skies over 22 states. The nose of the Dreamliner is pointing at the Puget Sound region, home to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The wings stretch from northern Michigan near the Canadian border to southern Texas. The tail touches Huntsville, Alabama.
Update 8/3/17 11:49am: Aviation enthusiast Jason Rabinowitz has posted a very cool timeline of last night’s flight:
No, really… do you have any idea why Boeing just flew more than 10,000 miles over some 18 hours without leaving the US? With loads of fuel at stake, it can’t just be “for the heck of it,” right?
Here’s what we know…
Last night, aviation journalist Jon Ostrower shared a very interesting flight plan:
Now, it’s no secret that Boeing is currently testing the Dreamliner‘s new Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines, which need to be put through their paces before they’re certified to operate passenger flights. Last night’s flight was almost certainly a component of that testing (we’ve reached out to Boeing for confirmation). Regardless of the reason, it was one heck of an incredible routing.
As you may recall, Boeing drew the word “MAX” in the sky earlier this year, to celebrate the launch of the 737 MAX narrow-body plane.
Quite a snooze by comparison, though.
Naturally, I checked the Dreamliner’s progress before I went to bed:
And again right after I woke up this morning:
Now, some 15 hours after it took off from Boeing Field in Seattle, the 787 has completed its “aircraft sketch” portion of the flight and is now making its way back home.
While this flight was without a doubt more interesting to watch from the ground (18 hours on a bare-bones airliner doesn’t sound like a ton of fun), it’s certainly quite a achievement for this particular aircraft — and the crew.
That said… Delta/United, if you’re planning to sketch a 747 at 30,000 feet ahead of your retirements later this year, we’d love to join for the ride!
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees