Boeing was supposed to be making the first flight of the fourth 777X one Saturday, so I headed up to Paine Field to see it. The weather was not great with low clouds and rain and it was below minima for the flight, so we didn’t get to see the 777X. However, an American Airlines 787 was doing a test flight and it took off in the damp conditions.
As they powered up the jet, the moisture on the surface of the runway got sucked up in the vortex that forms between the inlet and the ground at high power and low forward speed. A dull day makes it easier to see this as well, so I was able to get a few shots of it. The lack of flying that day was a disappointment but this meant the days wasn’t a total bust.
Around the world you can find plenty of parked Boeing 787s at the moment. Problems with the Rolls Royce Trent engines for this type mean that airlines have been pulling engines from various airframes in order to keep others flying. ANA uses Rolls engines on their fleet and I saw this aircraft being pulled around a taxiway at Haneda. Both engines were off making it look quite odd. It will certainly be a lot lighter than before but, somehow, I think that isn’t going to make it more efficient!
Two versions of the Boeing 787 have been in service for a while. However, development activities continue. The 787-10 is still undergoing flight test but work also continues on the older jets. Some of this is also related to the Dash 10. I had a post on my first encounter with the 787-10 which I wrote about here. I have since come across another of the test aircraft. This one is plain white and doesn’t benefit from the nice house colors that Boeing has.
Meanwhile, one of the 787-8 test aircraft has recently been testing the newest version of the Rolls Royce Trent 1000. I saw this engine when it was being tested on Rolls’ testbed in Tucson and that was in this post. Now it has been fitted to its intended platform and is undergoing trials. These have included lengthy flights around the US including one in which they traced out the planform of the aircraft across multiple states. If you are going to go flying for 18 hours, you might as well find a way to have fun with it. The aircraft is carrying the same logo on the engine nacelle that was on the testbed. Hopefully, the delayed upgraded engine will soon be in service, not just on the Dash 10 but also on the other variants.
A little trip back to an earlier photo trip for this one. Aeromexico have lots of flights to the US but their LAX flight is obviously busy enough to justify a bigger jet. That is the 787. I got to see their 787 during my visit including some great views from the helicopter that we shot from over the airport. Above is a good angle to shoot the 787 from. The wing planform is pretty distinctive and so looking down you can see that most clearly.