F-18 Fighter Pilot Takes Dreamliner For A Spin [VIDEO]

Piloted by an F-18 fighter pilot, we see just what the Boeing Dreamliner can do when put to the test. Stretching the aircraft and pushing it to the limit of its ability, the pilot guides the 787 to climb and soar at a degree and rate that passengers (hopefully) will never experience.




Boeing has been working to get the 787 Dreamliner back in the sky after two battery-fire incidents in January forced the FAA to ground all 50 of the 787 models operated by commercial carriers worldwide.

Battery testing complete, it is now up to the FAA to say when the aircraft can be retrofitted and returned to service. In addition to the 50 grounded planes, 20 more sit on Paine field in Seattle, waiting for delivery.

Uploaded to YouTube by user Wonkabar007, the video was apparently filmed at the Farnborough International Air Show in the UK last July.

Vintage Aircraft Gets New Life, Flies At Flight Museum

vintage aircraftThe Historic Flight Foundation displays and flies vintage aircraft from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, also the home to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner manufacturing plant. Contrasting the very latest commercial aircraft of today, being built right next door, The Historic Flight Foundation
has completed the restoration of a DC-3 that dates back to 1944 and served Pan Am Airlines.

The airplane is now airworthy for the first time in a decade and has been added to an inventory of historic airplanes available for rides for the members of the foundation.

Because of the Pan Am heritage, a 1949 Pan Am exterior design was chosen, which includes “the correct color blue, the 48 stars of the flag and the big number on the wing that they used to have even on airliners,” said John Sessions, founder of the Historic Flight Foundation, in a statement.In addition to the paint scheme, the complete exterior refurbishment included restoring the airframe’s skins, overhauling the landing gear, replacing the window glass and reversing a previous Super DC-3 conversion. It was a transformation that included major modifications such as changing the tail wheel from retractable to fixed, removing the clamshell doors and altering the entire nose section.

Everything firewall forward is new or overhauled to zero time, including the engines and propellers. “She should be good for some relatively low maintenance service for quite a while,” said Sessions.

Want to know more about the history of Pan Am? Check out the video below:




[Photo Credit- Historic Flight Foundation]

United Airlines Puts First North American Dreamliner In The Air

Over the weekend, United Airlines put the first of 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in the air. Said to be the most technologically advanced aircraft ever built, the 787 will initially be used by United on international flights to Asia, Africa and Europe. But first, a series of domestic flights will showcase the aircraft around the United States.

“As the North American launch customer, we are delighted to be getting our first 787 Dreamliner,” said Jeff Smisek, president and chief executive of United in a Seattle Post Intelligencer article.” As we continue to build the world’s leading airline, we are excited for our customers and co-workers to experience this game-changing aircraft.”

And experience it they will. After an October filled with proving/validation flights and training activities, the new Dreamliner will fly out of United’s Houston (IAH) hub with daily service to San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN) and Newark (EWR). Six times a week, the new aircraft will fly to Chicago (ORD) with special one-time flights to Washington (IAD) and Cleveland (CLE).In addition to unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions, the Dreamliner has a host of passenger-friendly features too. Passengers will notice 30 percent larger windows and larger overhead storage bins for today’s roll-aboard bags. Improved lighting, cabins pressurized at 6,000 feet rather than the 8,000-foot mark typical for commercial passenger aircraft and higher humidity levels will help with fatigue, headaches and jet lag.

“United now begins a new chapter with the 787 Dreamliner,” said Smisek, “the most technologically advanced commercial jetliner ever built.”

Here is video of that first 787 Dreamliner being rolled out of the paint shop at Boeing late last week:

Want to see inside the new Dreamliner? Go with Gadling’s Zach Honig Inside United’s First 787 Dreamliner At Boeing HQ

Photo- United Airlines

A Seattle Day Trip For Aviation Fans

Seattle Day Trip

A Seattle day trip could mean visiting a variety of places. Think “Seattle” and images or thoughts of the Space Needle, Starbucks Coffee or TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy” might come to mind. But not far from the heart of the city is Paine Field airport where several attractions represent the past, present and future of aviation. Any one of them is worth a visit. Bundle several together and it’s a day trip from heaven for aviation fans.

Seattle’s Boeing Everett Factory houses the largest indoor manufacturing facility in the world. The space is so big that it can hold 33 football fields and make its own weather system if not properly ventilated. It’s also the home of the new 787 Dreamliner aircraft that will keep workers busy well into the future. We took a 90-minute tour, walking through the construction process from start to finish.
Next door, Boeing’s Future of Flight Aviation Center is also an interesting walk-through facility designed to stimulate innovative thinking.

Future of Flight includes an aviation gallery with interactive exhibits and displays, a rooftop observation deck overlooking Paine Field, full-size jet aircraft engines, a cutaway slice of an actual passenger jet that shows the areas passengers don’t see and more.

Voted one of the top aviation attractions in the world, visitors can take the only public tour of a commercial jet assembly plant in North America at the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour. The center features everything from airplane designs, materials, engines and flight systems to flight simulators.

Taking a unique look at the history of flight, two other places of interest to aviation fans, the Flying Heritage Collection and the Historic Flight Foundation, have nearly 30 actual, flying aircraft meant to be seen, touched and flown.

The Flying Heritage Collection has pieces created with leading technologies of the 1930s and 1940s as combat aircraft in World War II. The collection has U.S., British, German, Russian and Japanese aircraft types, many of which were often pitted against each other in great air battles.

The surviving aircraft were researched, found and sometimes recovered from former battlegrounds and airfields, then authentically restored.

Each summer, planes from the Flying Heritage Collection are flown to keep them operational and exercised on a regular basis. History buffs and aviation fans gather to witness the beauty of the vintage aircraft as they return to the skies, if only briefly. Year-round, some of the aircraft are available for hire, taking fans up in the air to view the area much like aviators of the past would have.

Another venue, the Historic Flight Foundation has engaged the best restoration resources available to return their collection to original splendor. Most always using original parts, the Historic Flight Foundation often searches the world over for what they need to keep the collection in the air. Those who work the collection are quick to point out “this is not a museum; our planes fly”.

Volunteer docents, many with first-hand knowledge about the operation and maintenance of their combined fleet, are eager to share their love of aviation with visitors.

Special events, open to the public, run throughout the summer and into the fall. Continuing this weekend, the Flying Heritage Collection continues its Fly Days series with the Battle of Britain Day on August 25, the IL-2 Debut on September 15 and the Ground Attack Day on September 29.




Photos- Chris Owen

Inside United’s First 787 Dreamliner At Boeing HQ

We knew it was coming, but now that we’ve had a chance to step on board United Airlines’ latest jetliner in person, we’ll surely be counting the days until we can ease into one of those airborne recliners as the carrier’s 787 takes to the skies. Just days after getting its first coat of paint (and that unique nose-to-tail swoop), United opened up its Dreamliner for journalists, select customers and a handful of staffers to take a first look at the 787’s interior, which includes 36 flat-bed BusinessFirst seats in a 2-2-2 configuration, 72 Economy Plus seats with up to 36 inches of pitch and 111 Economy seats with a fairly standard 32 inches of pitch.

You could have garnered that from glancing at a seat map. What’s not so clear is just how magnificent this aircraft is to ride, or, in the case of our grounded demo at Boeing’s Everett factory today, how it looks from the ground. This isn’t our first trip down the aisles of a 787, having flown on ANA’s Dreamliner with Engadget in Japan last year. In comparison to the 777, however, where we’ve spent weeks of time in flight, it’s quite exciting to see how the in-flight experience is improving, even when compared to the pleasant ride on the carrier’s previous-generation flagship.

%Gallery-161659%United will be operating the Dreamliner on new and existing routes, and while we don’t know exactly where the 787 will fly first, service is slated begin later this year. The first confirmed route will launch on March 31st between Denver and Tokyo, growing direct service between the Japanese hub and the U.S. to 10 cities (including Honolulu and Guam). Passengers on board those flights will certainly appreciate the oversized dimmable windows and giant overhead bins, along with all-LED lighting, which sadly are limited to basic color configurations, rather than the ANA we’ve seen during boarding on ANA.


The 787 is more than a foot narrower than the 777, but United maintained the same seating configuration as its Continental acquisitions, which you might assume makes the aircraft seem a bit cramped. The higher ceilings and open feel made the difference almost unnoticeable, however, and the Continental-era BusinessFirst seats on board are still far superior to United’s own triple-7 layout, where four center seats mean you could end up paying for a bed yet still have a middle seat. Here, just like on those select triple-7s (mostly used on flights beginning in Houston or Newark), biz seats offer much more privacy, with more personal space and substantial dividers.

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In the Y-cabin, seats seemed cushier than what we’ve used on United’s existing fleet, and feature the same in-flight entertainment system installed on some of the carrier’s current aircraft. Like BusinessFirst, these seats also feature larger dimmable windows and overhead bins which reportedly offer 30 percent more capacity than those on United’s 777. Rows 16 and 27 have substantially more legroom than other Economy Plus seats. In fact, there’s so much space between the window-side seats in row 27 that you could plop down a sleeping bag and camp out on the floor if the FAA permitted it.


Surprisingly, the most spacious seats on the plane aren’t in this row or even in the business cabin, but instead are located up a flight of stairs in a hidden second level. Two sets of crew quarters are located at the far forward and far aft positions, behind doors marked “Crew Only.” Through those doors and up a small flight of stairs you’ll find two full-size beds in the front of the Dreamliner and six in the rear. There’s not much room to do much other than sleep, but thick, full-length mattresses will surely enable pilots and flight attendants to make good use of scheduled rest periods.


We felt quite comfy during our visit to United’s 787, even on the main level, and while we couldn’t experience the boosted humidity, increased cabin pressure, noise suppression and computer-assisted smooth performance, it’s clear that the Dreamliner will be very popular among United passengers. There’s a few months to go until you can take a flight of your own, but we have plenty of photos to tide you over for now. Thumb through the galleries for a closer look, then scroll down below for a hands-on video from Engadget.