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When it comes to scoring their very first Boeing 787, airline officials over at British Airways are pretty far back in the line. That means there will be no new Boeing under the tree this holiday season, but we think they’ll be okay. That’s because the assemblers and engineers have once again taken out the airplane directions, and they’re starting to put together the pieces for the very first British Airways 787.
The first 787 is set to join the fleet as soon as next May, and in total there will be around a couple dozen of the new airplanes. That’s not the only new puppy heading into the hangar, as British Airways also has like 12 Airbus A380s on backorder as well. In fact, they’ll be the first carrier in Europe flying both of these new planes, so other airlines have been warned.
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We don’t know where the time has gone, but it’s been roughly a year since the first Boeing 787 took flight into the world of commercial aviation. Just in case you can’t remember that far back it was All Nippon Airways that scored the inaugural, and since then there’s been a lot of flying for ANA and their new planes.
There’s no birthday cake—at least not yet—but ANA was pretty eager to share some facts and figures about their newest toy, and as always we’re suckers for anything and everything related to the 787. In the last year the carrier has had around 9,000 flights with the plane, and they’ve shared the new airplane smell with about 1.8 million paying passengers.
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We’ve been following the possibility of cheap 787 flights over to Europe for quite some time, and it looks like that might actually be happening sooner rather than later. Norwegian Air Shuttle has been running the numbers and counting their airplanes, and now they have some details and information to reveal.
The carrier is still on schedule to launch some flights between New York City and Oslo as soon as May of 2013, and they’re even ready to start taking reservations for these new routes. Their booking engine went live yesterday and, with the promise of roughly €250 for roundtrip flights, it quickly crashed. The site is back up now and there are still cheap flights to be had if you’re flexible, but the crazy deals may be a little hard to find.
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Quiet. That would be the word for United's Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as the first one for the US airline zipped into the skies yesterday morning on its maiden revenue flight, meaning there were actual paying passengers onboard. The flight, UA 1116 from Houston (HOU) to Chicago (ORD) hit its halfway point at 9:30am EST, meaning those passengers and invited guests sitting pretty in the whisper-quiet cabin were effectively sneaking in the special event before much of the country could wake up.
One such flyer was our buddy (and uber-major United frequent flyer) Peter Shankman, who filed this short video report from Economy Class:
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This week might not be the best time to call United with a complaint, as the reservation agents have bigger, hurricane-sized problems with that pesky Sandy and all. However, once the travel craziness dies down a little bit you’re probably going to need to do a little flight reshuffling. That’s because some of the earliest trips aboard one of United’s first domestic 787 flights won't be happening.
As you probably know, United is the first carrier in the US to score a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and they’re getting ready to crack the champagne on its inaugural flight (this Friday, for special people, if all goes according to plan). However, due to some delays in the next delivery, the airline only has one of the planes right now. The very first regular passenger flights scheduled for November 4 are still good to go, but some of the domestic hub-to-hub flights will be happening with different airplanes, like 767s.
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Just about a year ago we heard about Norwegian Air Shuttle and their plans for cheap flights between spots like Oslo and New York City. The airline has a whole bunch of 787s on order to get that flying done, and they'll likely be the cheapest transatlantic travel aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. However, it might technically be a separate airline carrying you across the Atlantic.
It looks like the carrier is creating sort of a subsidiary to be responsible for some of the longer flights. The new venture will be known as Norwegian Long Haul, but we’re not totally sure if that’s what they’ll be plastering along side of the fuselage. The new carrier—that’s not really a new carrier—will have a different operating certificate, but apparently might retain the usual branding.
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Too much awesome aviation news came down the pipeline this week, so we'll just wrap it up neatly for you with some bullet points:
· LAN's first 787 Dreamliner hit the South American skies: Well, it's official; South America's first Dreamliner is running its first regularly scheduled service, flying 22x week between Santiago (SCL) and Buenos Aires (EZE). The inaugural happened on October 1 after the plane got some fresh ink (check out the 787 underneath the cockpit windows). Wanna see more? LAN's Facebook page has an entire gallery from the event and our own photos and video of the delivery event are still hot and fresh.
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The 787 gets a water cannon salute after landing in Houston
The skies above Texas today were absolutely speckled with the green and yellow radar blips of thunderstorms. That sucks for Texas, with the exception of one other radar blip: United Airlines' very first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which came home to Houston on its delivery flight from Boeing Field in Washington State.
Those thunderstorms did add a twenty minute arrival delay, though; it was the final delay in a what's really been a saga of delays leading up to the first delivery of a 787 to a US airline.
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A LOT Dreamliner on the Boeing factory line
It might be a little early to nominate an airline for a Jaunty award, but we’ve got our eyes on LOT Polish Airlines. Sure they’ve been flying between Poland and the rest of the world for decades, but it seems that they’ve got their eye on the future. This is especially the case when you consider some of the planes that they have on order and where they’re planning to utilize them.
The airline has plenty of those shiny new Boeing 787s on order, and if things remain on schedule—and we’re thinking that they will—the first deliveries should happen this November. That makes LOT the first carrier in Europe with the Dreamliner, and they’re understandably pretty eager to brag about it.
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You know, over the weekend we tweeted about the video below, but that just isn't enough to convey its awesomeness. So here we lay it down to start you week off right, since the 3+ minutes of engineers building a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 aircraft engine out of LEGOs could likely be the best thing you view today.
Here's the deal: Rolls-Royce teamed up with the good people at Bright-Bricks, a company that specializes in building large-scale LEGO models to exacting dimensions and detail. What a dream job, truly. Their task: create the Trent 1000 engine, the very engine found in Boeing's 787 Dreamliners flown by ANA and LAN.
Check out the video, in all its glory:
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And yet it seems like only yesterday we were perched atop the Future of Flight Center in Everett, WA, in the early morning cold and mist, as the absolute very first Dreamliner was delivered, to Japanese carrier ANA. In fairness it's been a solid year since then and while five airlines now boast Boeing 787s in their fleets, there's a whole slew more champing at the bit to get their mitts on the sleek plane.
Let's review who's got it and who wants it, shall we?
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New airplane alert! On Saturday, September 1, LAN Airlines picked up its very first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, becoming the first in the Americas to operate the aircraft. From the factory to the runway at Boeing's Paine Field in Everett, WA, we were there to kick the tires, put the seats back and get a feel for her. Stay tuned the next couple days for more Dreamliner dispatches.
Have you ever been on a flight and spotted another flight off in the distance? It's just the coolest thing to see another plane in midair; they become your friend for a few minutes, as if you're sharing the delicious secret that 38,000 feet is the place to be. And it is. Now imagine that flying alongside other airplanes was an everyday occurrence for youeven better, that it's your job. This is actually the case for the badass pilots and aerial cinematographers at Wolfe Air.
Thanks to our buddy David Parker Brown of AirlineReporter.com and the team at Wolfe Air, we were able to go beyond watching the LAN Boeing 787 Dreamliner delivery flight to participating in it while discovering how Wolfe Air makes their magicthe magic of capturing the Dreamliner on film, in flight, from a few hundred feet off the raked wingtip.