In your eyes

If you want to get a feel for the global impact of the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner you only have to take a look at some of the comments we’ve been getting to the Journal.

From Johannesburg, South Africa, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Medellin, Colombia, Hong Kong, Toulouse, Sydney, Wellington, Brazil, Pakistan, Norway, Ireland, Austria, India, Canada, the Philippines, Portugal and all across the U.S. including Everett and Renton - people from all over have been expressing their thoughts here on the Web.

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Over the weekend we published this tribute to Boeing employees, the global team, our customers and the Puget Sound community. Click above to download the full 787 ad.

We’ve also received a lot of one-on-one or personal emails in the week since first flight. In your eyes, this is an event worth celebrating. We’ve seen a lot of “Way to go Boeing!” and “Thrilled to see the 787 fly!” messages coming in. And those are great.

But I wanted to share a few special messages that have come to us. One Japanese journalist who traveled to Seattle for first flight called the Dreamliner “a multinational work of art.” That’s got a nice ring to it.

From ANA, our launch customer, we heard this:

The aviation industry has long been waiting for the 787 to take to the blue sky and some day carry the dreams of people around the world. We look forward to the day when it will make its maiden commercial flight through the skies of Japan and on to the rest of the world. This is a moment when our hard work pays off and the dreams of everyone at last take flight.

And one aviation enthusiast sent a note to our Singapore office that had a touch of poetry to it, when he wrote that as the 787 “rolled down the runway, I could see the wings flex and begin to curve as we have seen in Boeing computer-generated images and in scale models. I knew immediately that this iconic plane is going to lift-off beautifully. The aviation game has changed!”

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A nice shot - taken by one of my Marketing colleagues - of the Dreamliner’s first landing, with chase planes in formation.

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A banner celebrating first flight - posted in our Commercial Airplanes offices.

Here’s a selection of some of the other correspondence we’ve gotten:

From Jerry, a public official on the Sioux Nation in South Dakota:

Your airplanes represent the entire economic and professional image of the United States. The introduction of the new Dreamliner comes at a time when a boost of proof-positive of our strength needs a shot in the arm.

Jerry suggested a future flight on the 787 featuring “a select group of young, bright, promising men and women interested in engineering achievement.” He also offered his young son, who hopes to become a pilot for the U.S. Air Force some day, as a candidate for the flight!

From Vimi, a manager at Air Seychelles:

It is heart swelling to see it fly!! It is such a fantastic aircraft. I really admire Boeing for what it stands… its people, its aircraft, its innovation. I am not a Boeing employee, yet am so proud of Boeing!

From Alfred, a consultant at the Institute of Management in Malawi, Africa:

This was a wonderful day not only for Boeing and all the members of staff who had built this great aircraft, but also for people like me who had waited for a long time to watch that historic flight.I actually had to postpone supper in order not to miss the great moment when the Dreamliner took to the skies. I have been a Boeing fan for over 30 years. If I had to choose fleet for an airline, it would be an all-Boeing fleet.

From Parviz, an educator in Azerbaijan:

Students of Azerbaijan National Academy of Aviation with impatience waited for this day. We with great pleasure shall spend lectures on the designs of Dreamliner! We wish you new successes in your sacred work!

From a gentleman in Botswana:

Since my childhood I have loved the aircrafts and I just settled with Boeing jets for their good looks and immaculate designs. I went to great heights to see myself flying in a Boeing jet and indeed I got a lifetime dream to hop into a 737. I always asked for the seat overlooking the engine just to marvel that machine at work. I traveled all the way from my rural village to South Africa in Johannesburg just to see the 747 come in and take off. I sure will be on my way to South Africa in the near future just to see the Dreamliner. Thank you for the state of art machine and I have it for a wallpaper on my PC and therefore pride myself as one of the ‘owners’ of a Dreamliner.

And from the folks at the competition:

Airbus salutes the people of Boeing on this important day in their history. The first flight of the 787 is a real achievement and it underscores the continual advancements in commercial aircraft that come about because of healthy competition. In that spirit of innovation-driving competition, we look forward to a continued robust rivalry with our own A350 XWB. But today is Boeing’s day, and – to the Boeing team – we say: “congratulations!”

Finally, some reaction here at Boeing - the video below is from an employee event we held in the atrium of one of the buildings on our Everett site the day after first flight.

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Click above to watch excerpts from our Everett employee event.

I think this video really captures the feeling, as 787 Program vice president and general manager Scott Fancher thanks the team and introduces Chief Pilot Mike Carriker and Captain Randy Neville.

Check out the response at the end of the piece. As the office banner shown above says, making history isn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth it.

Comments (4)

Chris C (South Africa):

The super-efficient jetliner era has begun with the first flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, period.

It’s certainly been an incredible journey, as you highlighted very nicely in your previous notes, from initial concept studies to launch to rollout and, finally, first flight of the super-efficient 787 Dreamliner. Further, the journey continues as we head towards intense flight testing for certification and ultimately with first deliveries late next year.

Without a doubt, the 787 is the world’s most advanced and sophisticated commercial airplane, and will completely revolutionise commercial air travel.

Thank you for all the excellent Journal updates over this past year as well as the great coverage on first flight for the 787! Next up, 747-8F first flight! Happy Holidays and all the best for the New Year.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The first flight was the highlight of my year and from there progress is on a roll and by the end of next year the 787 will be in the skies carrying passengers and the 747-8 will have made its first flight. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Fantastic, thanks for sharing these thoughts! Happy holidays, and all the best for the new year!

Borys Pawliw (London, Seattle, New York, Chicago mainly...):

Superbly done ladies and gentlemen, this is a magnificent achievement for which all Boeing and its partners can feel justifiable pride in.

Something I do suggest for Boeing to consider initially is to prepare a series of videos that explain to passengers clearly how this plane will create a different flying experience for them: the superior humidity and cabin pressurization features will be welcome and the smoother ride definitely so.

However, one other matter which deserves special attention is how that smoother ride will be achieved: i.e. the remarkable flexibility/elasticity of the wing. This looks quite different and spectacular from the outside as we have seen so far, but from the inside, perhaps the view of the wing tips lifting so high in flight relative to the fuselage may initially cause some people concern. Having videos from inside the plane, looking over the wing position/movement in-flight readily available will greatly assist in making people accustomed to seeing a plane behave in a (for now) unusual manner from the perspective they will see it, and make for an amazing video which would generate much interest when shown.

Cheers and looking forward to my first flight on the the Dream!

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