One year ago today, I embarked on a case study to explore what happens when a person has too much free time on their hands.
About a year later on flight back from Tokyo a month ago, our route on the seven month-old 777-300ER took us directly over Everett as we headed for Dulles.
I had a quiet moment to reflect on the fact that the aircraft that was carrying me home was born not far beneath my feet.
An airplane is so much more than the sum of its parts.
It is the combined effort and tireless work of a cast of thousands that sacrifices by giving up time with your family, working crazy hours and sometimes being far from home. Each person that contributes to the development of a new airplane gives a part of themselves help it into the sky. I have had the privilege of getting to know many of you who make this possible.
No one is more aware than I have ruffled some feathers in the last year. I’d like to believe I’ve been fair and accurate. And if in any instance either has not been true, you’ve rightly corrected me.
For all the challenges the Dreamliner has faced, I’m left thinking that the context by which to understand this aircraft is found in the fact that finding and tackling problems now is the best thing you can hope for. I was saving this quote for when flight testing began, but I think it’s appropriate to share it after this week:
“I'm sure for the press it’s hard to understand that failures of any kind are acceptable, yet to us at this stage of the game that success.
When people take that information and blow it out of proportion or misinterpret it, or try to make a creative dramatic story out of it, I get frustrated, because its not, I view it as somewhat of an attack on the pilot community, but also it's sort of a break in the trust that should exist in both directions.
At the same time I understand that it's a different world to most people, they relate to what these things would mean in the airline world with them flying as a passenger, and its a totally different environment, we're looking for totally different things, and the goal is to solve the problem before we even get to the airline world.”
-- John Cashman
777 Chief Test Pilot
I only hope in some way I’ve been able to contribute to the public understanding of what it takes to bring a new commercial aircraft from an idea to a flying machine.
The past year has brought more than three-quarters of a million visitors to the pages of FlightBlogger and more than 1.2 million page loads to date. I am grateful to each and everyone one of you who has taken the time to visit. It is no understatement to say that you have all changed my life in a very significant way.
The blog really began with one simple question: Does this site have something you can’t find anywhere else?
I do hope you can answer is yes.
I still occasionally go back and look at that original FlightBlogger post. I never could've imagined what kind of journey was to lay ahead. The last line always makes me smile:
“To all those who aren't paying attention to this blog yet, I say welcome. Stay tuned.”
With deepest thanks.
March 21, 2008
Read the complete post at http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/flightblogger/2008/03/f1ightb1ogger-turns-one.html
Fri, Mar 21 2008 8:12 PM
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