Monday, July 19, 2010

DTN News: Boeing 787 Dreamliner Makes First Overseas Landing

Defense News: DTN News: Boeing 787 Dreamliner Makes First Overseas Landing
* Plane does "tilt and wave" flyover before landing
* Carried live on British TV at the touchdown
* Major talking point for the week's Airshow
Source: DTN News / Boeing & Reuters By Kyle Peterson
(NSI News Source Info) FARNBOROUGH, England - July 19, 2010: Boeing Co's new 787 Dreamliner touched down in Britain on Sunday on its first trip outside the United States, thrilling hordes of eager planespotters who came out to see the breakthrough carbon-composite plane.
A media circus ensued as Boeing executives, including CEO Jim McNerney, emerged smiling from the plane, though McNerney did not actually fly to England with the plane, instead getting on board after landing.
Social media was active with blow-by-blow coverage of the arrival, pointing to the intense interest in the plane not only within the business but also in the flight-enthusiast community.
The 787 is expected to take the spotlight at next week's Farnborough Airshow. Last-minute technical issues had raised fears in recent weeks that the plane might not make its long-anticipated trip to the show, but the plane arrived doing a flyover with a "tilt and wave" before landing.
Boeing executives have said they aim to deliver the first Dreamliner to Japan's All Nippon Airways by the end of 2010, but they have cautioned that the delivery could be delayed to early 2011.
Speaking to reporters later in London, Jim Albaugh, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, reiterated that caution, saying Boeing still hopes to achieve its year-end goal but deliveries could move to next year.
Speaking after landing the plane, test pilot Mike Bryan told reporters that landing on Farnborough's "short" runway after the nine-hour flight reminded him of his time landing on aircraft carriers in the Navy. But he was full of praise for the plane, which he flew from Seattle with 16 crew and a full compliment of flight-testing systems.
"One thing I can say right now is we could literally put fuel in it and passengers could go flying in it," he said.
The plane he flew -- Dreamliner No. 3 -- will never see regular passenger service, though. It is one of three test planes strictly for that purpose. The next three test planes to be built, however, are expected to eventually be sold.
The aircraft promises greater fuel efficiency and its lightweight materials and innovative design have captured the imagination of the industry.
Yet flight testing has been going more slowly than expected after the twin-engined passenger plane made an inaugural flight last December -- which itself was the subject of frenetic global media coverage.
Deliveries of the long-range passenger jet to the first Japanese customer have been delayed by more than two years due to production problems.
The Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner made its international debut landing at the Farnborough Airport at 9:09 a.m. (local time) in support of the Farnborough International Airshow that begins Monday.
"It's an honor to showcase the 787 here at the Farnborough Airshow," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "I can't think of a finer stage on which to present this highly anticipated airplane."
This is the first international trip made by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The airplane came via nonstop flight to Farnborough, U.K., from Seattle.
"We took advantage of the flying time to conduct some flight testing on the way," Fancher said. "We're taking every opportunity to complete our testing requirements when we fly."
The third Boeing [NYSE:BA] 787 Dreamliner, ZA003, made its international debut today landing in the UK in time for the opening of the Farnborough International Airshow.
The airplane will be on static display for two days and fly home as the final pass of Tuesday’s flying display. ZA003 features a flight-test interior, including seats and lavatories in addition to the flight test equipment required to monitor the performance of the airplane during operations. The 787 offers many unique passenger amenities including dimmable window shades, larger windows, bigger overhead baggage bins, cleaner air and higher cabin humidity. The combined effect is a better flying experience for passengers.
(Writing by Ben Berkowitz, Editing by Jeremy Laurence and David Holmes)

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