Boeing’s return to the flying display circuit after a 28-year hiatus provided several crowd-pleasing moments, but that was not originally the airframer’s plan. Boeing actually had intended to show off little more than two sedate fly-pasts. The steep-climbing, 2g banking, touch-and-go routine only evolved because of local restrictions on the 787′s overflight footprint.
That’s one of the more interesting bits of trivia we’ve gleaned after listening to a narrated flying display by Boeing chief pilot Mike Carriker and interviewing 787 chief pilot Randy Neville. Watch the video above for Carriker’s narration, and please excuse our shaky camera work (crowded chalet balcony and tiny camcorder). Read Neville’s comments below:
NEVILLE: It really started with something verysimple. We wanted two passes down the runway and that was it. We wanted to keepit very benign. As we looked into it further, [we noted] the constraints of theairspace. It’s a very tight, constrained airspace we have to operate in, whichrequires some hard turns – hard turns for a transport airplane. [But that]lends the opportunity to show off the airplane, our ability to accelerate withthe airplane. So those features we added into the profile. We added in a steepclimb, we added in a high-speed pass at 300kt.That’s followed by a 2g turn. All of those things really allowthe spectators to see the planform of the airplane, to see the nose-on view andthat elegant sweep of the wings.
FLIGHTBLOGGER: And the touch and go?
NEVILLE: We added that primiarly as a way – you canclear the runway much quicker in a touch and go and land the opposite directionand just clear the runway here, and then as we started looking into it it’ssomething unique for an airshow as well. People don’t think of a transportairplane doing a touch and go, so it added an extra element as well.