Tuesday afternoon

FARNBOROUGH - Another long and very dynamic day, during which - to some observers - we saved the best for last.

Truly a highlight of the entire show took place Tuesday afternoon - 4:41 pm local time by my watch - when the 787 Dreamliner departed the airfield and treated the crowd to a brief flyover.


A breathtaking farewell flyover from ZA003 accompanied by a pair of WWII-era Spitfires.

When the 787 took off, yes you could hear it, but I can’t emphasize enough just how quiet it is. The noise seemed to just fade away as it flew off into the clouds for its journey back to Seattle.

The Spitfires flying in formation? With their piston engines they actually seemed louder than the Dreamliner’s jets. Look and listen for yourself.

If you’ve ever been to an air show you know that the traffic getting into and out of the show grounds is always endless. But that has nothing on the mad rush to grab one of the last opportunities to tour the Dreamliner.

Let me just tell you the final half hour or so before we buttoned up the airplane for its return home was quite frenzied!

Beyond the magic of the Dreamliner’s departure, it was another typical - read, hectic - day. I spent some more time on ZA003 earlier in the day, and I also bumped into my counterpart at Airbus, Andy Shankland. We had a friendly chat.

Also had a lot of interaction again with journalists. Did some broadcast interviews in the mix as well. At one point I think I managed to steal a moment somewhere to sit down for some quiet time. At least I think I did.

By the way, a number of journalists came up to me to say they keep up with Randy’s Journal. Got a lot of comments about our recent post around the “orders race.” Always good to get that feedback and stir up some discussion.

Speaking of which, we did have a little more customer announcement activity today.

Royal Jordanian signed an order for additional 787 Dreamliners. And we had announcements from two brand new airplane leasing ventures.


A big week for lessors, as anticipated, with two “new kids” on the leasing block announcing - Avolon and Air Lease Corporation.

Avolon, a Dublin-based company, is launching a new business with a dozen Next-Generation 737s.

And Air Lease Corporation, led by Steven Udvar-Hazy, kicked off with an agreement to purchase up to 60 airplanes.

During the day I also enjoyed a briefing at the Canadian chalet where I spoke with an assortment of about 25 aviation leaders, suppliers, and Canadian government and trade officials. Boeing has more than 1,500 employees in Canada, and we’ve had a long and successful partnership.

In between all of my other commitments, I got to meet with a couple of dozen investors and analysts. Those sessions are always lively and informative for both sides.

I should also mention that in the morning Boeing held an interesting panel session for the media - billed as a 787 Dreamliner overview.

We had a number of Boeing Commercial Airplanes executives (representing more than 100 years of experience) up on stage to provide their insights into how the program got started and where we stand.


From left, Scott Fancher, V.P. and general manager, 787 program, led the discussion with John Roundhill, former V.P. of Product Development; Marlin Dailey, V.P. of Sales; Mike Sinnett, 787 V.P and chief project engineer; and Mike Carriker, chief pilot of the 787 for Boeing Test & Evaluation.

The bottom line coming out of that discussion is that today the 787 is real. It’s the airplane that we’ve been talking about.

As our vice president of Sales, Marlin Dailey, put it: “Every 787 delivered will give airlines an airplane that makes a strong difference in their fleets. In this segment of the market, there is no airplane in service today or on the drawing boards for the future that comes anywhere close to the efficiency of the 787 Dreamliner.”


Another view of the Dreamliner’s flyaway.

I hope that for the lucky relative few who got to see and literally touch the 787 here at Farnborough this week, the experience solidified in their minds that the airplane is indeed real and is indeed going to change our industry forever ..

.. starting with an amazing Tuesday afternoon here in July.

Comments (7)

Patrick McArdle (Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington, United States):

"When the 787 took off, yes you could hear it, but I can’t emphasize enough just how quiet it is."

Shortly after first flight of the Dreamliner, I and another fellow Boeing engineer were having lunch in the Wings Cafe, in the Museum of Flight. (For folks who've never been to the Museum, it's located right off one of Boeing Field's taxiways; the cafe faces the runways.)

As if on our command, ZA001 took off, flying by us at low altitude. Other patrons in the cafe remarked on how quiet it sounded, even close by at takeoff. (Some of the small corporate jets which operate out of Boeing Field make far more noise!) The engine manufacturers, Rolls-Royce and General Electric, have done a great job on their end, and our engineering and production folks have integrated those products into the Dreamliner flawlessly.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The value of the 737 is still very high with 72 orders mentioned today for leasing companies. Congrats to Avolon for ordering the 737-800, all the best to this new start up company.

Jamie (Guilford):

Yes the fly by on both arrival and departure from Farnborough was a treat for everyone. We know its not often test aeroplanes can be ferried to events like this.

Roll on Paris and maybe we'll see a customer-painted 787 there too!

Not forgetting the 747-8 as well of course!

Thanks for the continued blog updates Randy, I dont know how you manage to write, post, speak with media and customers all in a day!

Bridget Sears (Hartley Wintney Hampshire):

Congratulations to Boeing on a superb aircraft. I wish you good luck with it.
However I am extremely disappointed the Dreamliner has left Farnborough - I was really looking forward to seeing it on Saturday!

Chris C (South Africa):

Randy, your Journal coupled with the simply phenomenal www.boeing.com/farnborough2010 website is simply fantastic!
The Boeing Farnborough Website is really neat and it makes everyone feel as if they're at the show in person! Your Journal updates are, as always, excellent! Keep up the great work and it's very clear that Boeing are the market leaders, offering customer/market-preferred commercial airplanes that are not only on the leading-edge of innovation on all fronts, but market-leading in performance/capabilities and economics, period.
Congrats again to you and Boeing's customers on all the BCA order announcements at the show, and for two wonderful Boeing websites that allow me to be "with you" as the show unfolds!

Mauricio Baptiste (Bogota, COLOMBIA):

I would like to have more information about the development of the 747-8 Intercontinental, which airlines have place orders and when will be the first flight and roll day.

Chris C (South Africa):

Mauricio Baptiste (Bogota, COLOMBIA):

The 747-8Intercontinental has received firm orders from two blue-chip airline customers. Lufthansa has a firm order for 20 747-8Is, plus 20 options, and Korean Air has firm orders for 5. Boeing Business Jets has sold 8 747-8Is in a -8VIP form to several governments, so in total, 33 -8Is have been sold to date.
Factory completion and first-flight of the -8I should occur in early 2011, with deliveries starting later the same year.

www.newairplane.com/747 has some really great information on the development of the -8I.

More orders? Boeing is working on it, that I'm sure of! :)

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