787 First Flight
Well today was the day! After much delay, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner took to the skies just a little after 1000 local time.
The air is charged
A humid, [motioning] mass
The crowds and the cameras,
The cars full of spectators pass
Excitement so thick you could cut it with a knife
Technology...high, on the leading edge of life
(Excerpt from Rush's 1982 single "Countdown")
Boeing 001 Heavy Experimental (BOE1) left Paine Field flying VFR and headed West to fly over the Washington State coast to an aviation sector known as TATOOSH. However, the weather was not cooperating with the low altitudes they were flying and decided to fly to a clearing over the Straight of Juan de Fuca, an area only 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Paine Field. BOE1 eventually picked up it's IFR clearance from Seattle Center after the clearing over the Straight dissipated. After nearly three hours in the air, the cloud cover was threatening to lower at Boeing Field (the recovery airport) and it was decided to end the first flight.
It's being reported that the first 787 may return to the skies later this week. The second 787 is also rumored to fly before the years end. It looks like 2009 will come to a very busy close at the Boeing company.