Long haul flights starting and ending at the same spot is something that will bore even the best of pilots. However, for some of Boeing's pilots, such flights are part and parcel of the job.
Boeing's pilots probably bored of flying around in circles for hours decided to do something rather special to while away the time during a flight that would see them in the air for three-quarters of a day. According to Boeing, 'the test team got creative, flying a route that outlined a 787-8 in the skies over 22 states' of the USA.
Boeing claims that the nose of the giant 787 in the sky above the United States points towards the headquarters of Boeing Commercial Airplanes in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. The wings of the Dreamliner stretch from northern Michigan near the Canadian border to southern Texas.
The tail section of the 787 touches the city of Huntsville, Alabama which is home to a Boeing design centre that works with NASA and commercial airliners along with the headquarters of its Missile Defence Division.
The 18-long test flight which started and ended in Seattle, was undertaken to prove to regulators that the Dreamliner could safely operate on one engine for an extended period of time.
The engine option being tested during the 18-hour long flight on August 2–3 was the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-TEN (the Dreamliner is also offered with GE's GenX engines). Rolls-Royce claims that the Trent 1000-TEN offers 3 percent better fuel burn compared to rivals. The engine kicks out 360,400 Nm of maximum thrust.
Boing's test pilots sure know how to keep themselves entertained on long haul flights to nowhere and the Dreamliner sky selfie is just their latest aerial work of art. Earlier examples of Boeing's sky drawings include a '787' with the Boeing logo and giant MAX when testing out the 737 MAX 8.