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Test flight path draws 787-shaped route across the country

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Feb. 17, 2012 at 11:05 am |
February 17, 2012 11:15 am

If you’re assigned to fly more than 9,000 miles to test the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s engines and electronic systems, you’ve got a couple of choices:

Fly an oval “racetrack” path over and over the northern part of the country or get more creative.

Boeing’s test pilots last week opted for creative. They created a test course that when plotted on a map drew the numbers “787” and Boeing’s logo across the country from Seattle on the west to the eastern Iowa on the east and from northern Minnesota on the north to north central Colorado on the south.

The pilots were doing some final testing on Boeing’s Dreamliner powered by General Electric engines. They, with the cooperation of the Federal Aviation Administration, created a course whose outlines created the distinctive 787 signature.

Here’s that track from flight-following site FlightAware.

787 test flight

The 787 pilots followed the example of other Boeing test pilots who last year tested the company’s new 747-8 by following a flight path in the shape of the numbers, 747. The 747 pilots, however, didn’t include the company logo.

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