Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I did but see her passing over

Driving to work today in the PT drop top, a route that takes Guambat across the end of the runway (well, not directly across, but just beyond, and downhill) of the GUM airport, looking at the plane gliding in over the southern ranges, slowly, gliding, how does it stay in the air, somewhat like Guambat would image a Shuttle landing (but with enormous engines underwing), still ponderous but quickly now and at last overhead...

Yes! There it is, painted in blue, "ANA". Wasn't a dream. Was a Dreamliner.

15th December 2009 13:46 GMT Today's the day - finally Boeing 787 Dreamliner set for first flight

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner will later today take to the skies for the first time, almost two-and-a-half years after it was originally supposed to get airborne.

Although the "eco-friendly"* Dreamliner has attracted 840 orders, customers' patience has been sorely tried by continuously-reshuffled delivery estimates. The 787 maiden flight is therefore critical for Boeing, as Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst at research firm Teal Group, explained to Reuters: "It will provide a badly needed perception that the program is on some kind of schedule again. But it's still a long way from the ultimate result."

Indeed, even if all goes according to plan today, there are still a minimum of nine months of "around the clock" flight testing of six aircraft to follow before All-Nippon Airways gets its hands on the first example by the end of 2010.
ANA 787 In GUM For Etops Testing

Per Boeing Boeing:
In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 will provide airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance. The airplane will use 20 percent less fuel for comparable missions than today's similarly sized airplane. It will also travel at speeds similar to today's fastest wide bodies, Mach 0.85. Airlines will enjoy more cargo revenue capacity.
United Continental just raised its baggage fees, in apparent contemplation of that last metric.

Don't get the impression Guambat is a plane spotter, but he did grow up on and around air bases, and still remembers, years ago, going out with future Mrs. Guambat to SFO to get a look at the new 747.

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