July 7, 2007

A Day at PAE

Seattle Post #2

I write this from the grassy knoll overlooking Paine Field. Wireless internet was kindly donated by Paris' father. The weather is a kin to Southern California right now and I believe I've found myself in Seattle on the nicest weather day of the year. Right now I'm looking at the threshold of runway 16R. I must admit, I'm in awe. I've spent the last three plus months staring at this very spot from 3000 miles away, and here I find myself. To see it in person makes this whole process real. Everything I've been writing about felt somewhat detached. This IS real.

The picture below was taken moments ago. It shows the line up of the seven series aircraft preparing for tonight.


Anonymous said...

Looks like 707-747. Are the others in another location? Great pic! Can't wait for tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great shot from the Museum of Flight Parking lot. What a purfect day for a "Series of Sevens Formation Flight" Being a Boeing employee in Charleston it is nice to see someone on the ground reporting the real stories.
Keep up the good work. I wish I could have been there for this one.


Anonymous said...

Any chance you or someone else will take some video of the event tonight? YouTube!! :)

Anonymous said...

That would be the Future of Flight, not the Museum of Flight.


Scott said...

This was a very cool event. I actually ended up taking pictures next to Jon and Charles (of the recent 787 photos fame). I enjoyed chatting with those around me and it was a fun atmosphere of excitement. Tomorrow should be fun!

Jon: I mentioned that I got your blog from the Seattle PI, but I was mistaken. I found it from this KOMO TV article: http://www.komotv.com/news/8205032.html

Anonymous said...

I live under the PAE south approach and just saw the Rolls Royce 747 return to Everett from Boeing Field 10:08pm PT (I believe.) It was fun out at PAE today and I got to meet Jon and Charles quickly before the Boeing media reception. Jon this is a great blog.


Anonymous said...

I was told by a Future of Flight employee that the 7-series planes would perform a fly-by at Paine Field on Sunday. Any knowledge of this or do you know when they will be leaving Boeing Field? I hate that I was one day off to take my son to see this event. :(

Anonymous said...

EVERETT -- With a new member of its jetliner family arriving Sunday, The Boeing Co. paid special tribute Saturday evening to its 7-series airplanes.

Photos of the 7-series parade of planes kicking off a weekend of celebration for the rollout of the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing flew one of each of its 7-series of planes from Paine Field in Everett to Boeing Field in Seattle, where its 787 airline customers were gathered for a special event with company executives at the Museum of Flight.

Boeing also announced orders from two customers Saturday, including an order from Air Berlin that is the largest single order for the 787 from any European airline.

The first of Boeing's jets, a 707, took off from Paine Field at 6:40 p.m. and landed at Boeing Field at 7:07. It was followed every few minutes by a 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767 and finally the 777. They parked nose to tail outside the museum in a display believed to be the first such gathering of all of Boeing's jets in one place. Dozens of cars lined the road as onlookers stopped to snap pictures.

At the takeoff point, numerous photographers and plane enthusiasts who learned of the event also took up vantage points at the north end of the Paine Field runway at the new Future of Flight Aviation Center, across from the factory where the 787 rollout ceremony will take place Sunday.

The idea for the event came from Scott Carson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive and president.

Carson's father was a Boeing test pilot, and he grew up surrounded by the company and its airplanes.

In an interview with the Seattle P-I at last month's Paris Air Show, Carson said he came up with the idea because he wanted to do something special for the Dreamliner rollout.

The 707, which helped usher in the Jet Age in the 1950s, was provided by Omega Aerial Refueling Services Inc., which provides refueling services to the U.S. Navy. The plane is one of only three commercial air refueling aircraft in the world, all owned by Omega. The previous owner of the plane was the king and royal family of Saudi Arabia.

The 717 was provided by AirTran Airways. AirTran was the launch customer for the 717, which was developed by McDonnell Douglas as the MD-95. But Boeing renamed it as part of its 7-series jets after the merger with McDonnell Douglas in 1997.

FedEx provided the 727. The plane originally was delivered to Eastern Airlines in November 1976.

The 737-800 came from Alaska Airlines. It was delivered new earlier this year to the Seattle-based company.

The 747-200 is the flying testbed that's owned by Rolls-Royce. It's being used to test the Trent 1000 engine that Rolls developed for the 787. One of the original Rolls-Royce engines on the 747 was removed, and the new, much larger engine was substituted. That's part of the recent flight test program to certify the engine.

Continental Airlines supplied the 757, and Delta Airlines supplied the 767.

The 777-300ER will be delivered to Air France later this month.

At Boeing Field at the Museum of Flight, where the 787 customers gathered for the event, Boeing also had on display the 747-400 Dreamlifter, used to ferry the large wings and fuselage sections of the 787 to the Everett plant for final assembly.

Just after the 747 took off from Paine Field, Boeing announced that Air Berlin, Europe's third-largest low-fare airline, had placed a firm order for 25 787-8s, valued at $4 billion at list prices. It also has options for 10 more and purchase rights for 15 more.

"With this order, we are taking the next step for our future," said Air Berlin Chief Executive Joachim Hunold. He said ordering the 787 was an "economic step, a mission step, and it will be the next step in our future."

Air Berlin, which has been using smaller airplanes such as the 737 and the A320, is adding long-haul destinations, which the 787 will be used for.

In a prepared statement from Boeing, Hunold was quoted as saying, "It is hands-down the best aircraft to deliver the optimum combination of fuel efficiency, environmental performance and passenger comfort that we need to successfully grow our business and deliver a superior product for our customers. Passengers will fall in love with this airplane."

Earlier Saturday, Boeing announced that ALAFCO, Aviation Lease and Finance Co., of Kuwait signed for 10 787-8 Dreamliners. Valued at $1.62 billion at list prices, the new purchase builds on an order for 12 787s ALAFCO announced in March 2007.

The announcements bring the total number of 787s ordered to 677.

On Sunday, Boeing will unveil its first Dreamliner to the world in a rollout ceremony starting about 3:30 p.m. in Everett. Thousands of employees and guests are expected at Everett and also at Qwest Field to watch the event, which also will be shown via the Internet and satellite TV.

Rumors are abound that American Airlines and Delta Airlines will announce orders tomorrow for the 787 Dreamliner taking the total orders to 787 aircraft.

P-I aerospace reporter James Wallace can be reached at 206-448-8040 or jameswallace@seattlepi.com. Read his Aerospace blog at blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace.

Anonymous said...

Great shot! Looking forward to this occasion. Looking forward to your coverage.