Three of four

We’ve had another first flight. This time it was a brand new Dreamlifter, the third of four planned Dreamlifters. The new airplane received FAA certification about a week ago after a successful flight in Taiwan.

photo

Dreamlifter 3 – taking off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport last week. The Certificate of Airworthiness was hung on the airplane after the 2 hour, 47 minute flight.

The Dreamlifter is a specially modified 747-400 jet that transports major assemblies of the 787 Dreamliner. The first two have been in use since 2007. This Dreamlifter will enter service by early July. Modifications began on the fourth airplane in February and will conclude next year.

A second test flight took place just this week, and next, another will be performed with an Evergreen International Airlines (EIA) pilot on board for their verification flight. Evergreen is the operator of the Dreamlifter fleet.

After that, we complete the post-flight intermediate inspections and then take “re-delivery” of the airplane from Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation (EGAT) – which, despite the similar name is not connected to Evergreen International Airlines, by the way!. EGAT is a joint venture of EVA Air and General Electric, and is the company which has done a marvelous job transforming the 747s from passenger airplanes to one of the most unique cargo airplanes in the world.

The handover in the next few weeks would complete EGAT’s responsibilities for Dreamlifter 3. And shortly after that EIA can begin officially operating the airplane.

We plan to have a total of 4 Dreamlifters in the fleet. And now that we’re about to enter number 3 into service, we’ll not only have a backup when one of the airplanes is receiving scheduled maintenance, but we’ll also have more flexibility to deliver 787 assemblies to Everett from our partners around the world.

Comments (7)

G (France):

Evergreen is the operator of the Dreamlifter fleet.

Very interesting.
So the Dreamlifters are not operated by Boeing, but who is the owner of the airplanes?

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G -

Evergreen is the operator, but Boeing is indeed the owner of the Dreamlifters! Good question.

- Randy Tinseth

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The 747 LCF Dreamlifter looks huge. The big airplane
looks aerodynamic unlike the other out sized cargo
planes of the past which gives it only minimal speed
and range penalty, very good for the long distances that need to be traveled.

The Dreamlifter adaptation of the 747 looks to be the best plane for the job, a "Goldilocks effect"
of sorts, the An-124 has a short range and is not quite wide enough for the 787 fuselage, the Airbus Beluga though wide enough does not have the range or capacity and using the "other guy's" planes may not look to good for Boeing's public image, The Pregnant Guppy of the Apollo Rocket and early Airbus era are wide enough but they lack range and are retired, and the regular 747, MD-11, A300, 767, and the 757 cargo planes are not wide enough to haul the assembled components of the 787. The Dreamlifter, custom designed for the 787 is just right.

With the certification of the Dreamlifter, The 787 is another step closer toward full speed production.

Chris C (South Africa):

The Boeing 747-400LCF Dreamlifter underscores the sheer flexibility that the phenomenal 747 design and platform offers.

Further, the Dreamlifter indeed sports a very neat, clean and refreshing paint-scheme! It’s only fitting that the flagship airliner of the 21st Century, the super-efficient 787 Dreamliner, has its sub-assemblies flown to Everett on board the flagship airliner of the 20th Century, the legendary 747.

No doubt, the 747 is the greatest commercial airplane ever built, and I’m indeed looking forward to many more decades of flying 747s, with the highly-efficient and advanced 747-8 family!! All the very best as always with your own going intense sales campaigns to sell many more of these wonderful airplanes!

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Wonderful - yet another step in the global effort to support 787 production ramp-up.

The other day, I was on the 747 BCA site. It had me wondering who are the people that actually visit this site?

Shouldn't that site be more proactive in promoting the 747-8 with regard to range charts, seating arrangement and new opportunities that have arisen? The way I see it is that Boeing does not sell 747-400 series planes any more, and would be better served if it's latent energies were out working on current shapes and those of the future.

Chris C (South Africa):

Hi Paulo M:

Not sure if you've perhaps viewed this section in the Boeing Airline Startup on the 747-8I and -8F? Some interesting stuff there as well.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/startup/747-8.html

Kinbin (Taipei):

This is the 3rd of 4 aircraft. The first 2 have been flying since last year, albeit on a relaxed schedule due to the 787 production hiccups.

Boeing ought to score a publicity coup by diverting this big baby to the Farnborough for a low altitude fly-by on its way from Italy to the Prestwick refuelling stop, before heading onto Charleston.

Time it such that it is 30-60 mins after the A380 flight.

If Boeing has the time, place 3 rows of black / silver decals that look like windows.

The press will be having a field day!

Jason Kelly (bellshill,lanarkshire,scotland):

I had the good fortune to see one of the Dreamlifter fleet at Prestwick last week.

Are the planes regular visitors to Scotland,because i would really like to see it again,especially landing or taking off.

Congratulations on a trully splendid aircraft.

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