Hotel California

Here’s the thing with new airplanes: You design ‘em, you build ‘em, you test ‘em, and then one day, they just fly away to the sunny skies of California!

Seriously, though, we were very pleased to see ZA002, our 2nd 787 Dreamliner, has checked in this week at its new remote operations site in California. It’s another sign of the progress being made on the program.


ZA002 on takeoff for its first flight back in December.

This marks our first flight test operations outside of Washington state. During this phase we’ll be looking at “ground effects” - the unique air flow over the wings during the takeoff and landing portions of flight when we’re flying close to the ground.

To gather the robust data we need to certify the airplane, we need to fly the airplane very close to the ground for longer than anyone will ever do in service. Victorville, California has the unique facilities to allow us to accomplish this work.

When we do remote operations, we bring a whole clan of support. There will be about 150 engineers and support people in Victorville on and off through the three week period while we are there. It’s no small feat to get the airplane ready for each day of flying.

This is the first of a number of remote-site operations we’ll do in support of 787 flight test. In fact nearly half of all flight testing will be done at remote sites.

So, we’re on the road - and glad of it.

Comments (15)

Keith Warth (Sydney Australia):


She's more beautiful each time I see her.

Matthew Wong (Hong Kong):

787 is really a beautiful airplane. Good job Boeing!

BTW, I am wonder if it have been tested under a lightning strike? We have confident to the Boeing technology and all Engineers' talent, but I think if the 787 have been go thru the chanllenge of the lighting stirke. It will be a good publicity and slap back the rumors that said the 787 Carbon Fibre component is not safe.

cheers to all in the program of 787 and 747-8 and thanks for putting such a beauty and technological advanced aircrafts to the sky :)

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

I'm happy to see the 787 here in SoCal for testing, hopefully the 787 will take a visit soon to the Los Angeles/Long Beach area.

Robb Schwartz (Seal Beach):

This is the reason I work here. Seems to me that we are beginning to get our mojo back.

I see a rise in our corporate confidence--this new product is a game changer. But, a warning to all of us not be arrogant. Take no measure of delight in the competitor's woes. Express empathy and do your job! We must rise above any perception that we are arrogant. Humility will keep us grounded and focused.

Randy Lord (Everett, WA, USA):

Thanks for describing the unique low-level flying tests that mandate relocating to Victorville. I never knew about those requirements.

I appreciate these updates. It helps all of us that are rooting for the 787.

And yes, it is a beautiful plane!

Guy Veasey (Hemet CA):

Will there be videos of the low passes? How low will they be? I understand ground effect is strongest with the altitude at about the chord of the wing.

The world waits!

Tom Williams (Clovis, California):

Randy--make sure the folks who go down to Victorville check out the desert wildflowers, if they get some free time. The flowers should be incredible this year, given all the rain they've had.

Lynn Zachow (Kent WA USA):

I was one of the chosen few that got to tour the ZA002 during Engineering week here in Puget Sound.

When I was standing in front of the engine, the word that came to mind was "huge"... it looked as big as the plane itself. Even though I work on the defense side of the company, I am proud to be a Boeing employee when I travel on or see a Boeing plane!!

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Enjoying following the developments! -- Great title - love the song!


So what has happened to the 3rd flying B787, two weeks since maiden flight and no flights after that?

Brandon Farris (BFI):

Hey Randy another quick question for you about the testing down there. Is ZA002 flying VFR down in Victorville? I typically follow its flights and logs nightly and have seen it has hardly been flying down there but got a flightaware alert that it flew from Palmdale to Victorville today. Just wondering, any help is always appreciated.

Also Alessandro ZA004 should fly again on Monday I last heard. It was in the hanger last week getting fitted with some of its computer updates and what not and rolled back out last Friday.

Cameron (Murrieta, CA):

So happy to see that ZA002, N787EX, will be stationed in Victorville, CA for awhile.

I'm going to try and head up to George AFB this weekend to see this bird.. how great that will be.

Lynne (Yakima, Wa):

Randy we are going to be in CA the week of March 31. Will the plane still be in Victorville for us to see?

Tom (Portland, Oregon):

Thank you for keeping us updated on the Dreamliner & 747-8 testing. Having seen and photographed the Dreamliner 1 & 2 a couple of times at Boeing Field the past couple of months, it is a magnificent plane.

With any luck, it will sail through certification without a problem, as the World is waiting!

Gaby (Victorville, CA):

WOW! Saw this this morning!!! Driving down the 15 freeway and there's a huge low flying plane! Shocked me because of how low and slow! Totally cool though!

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