Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And the 787 is Airborne

Screenshot of first take-off, from the live webcast

I thought the little "flight tracker" gadget there on the right (click on picture to see) was supposed to show the progress of the flight, but it hasn't moved, so I guess it's just ornamentation. Track it for real on FlightAware.


Frank Van Haste said...

Dear Trix:

Thanks for the FlightAware link. From the Track Log,

Max Alt.= 13,200 MSL
Max Spd.= 239 knots
Max Climb= 900 fpm
Max Descent= -960 fpm
Speed on final= 132 knots

She's a pretty bird, isn't she?



Aviatrix said...

Perhaps the 239 kts is a artifact of the way the FlightAware data works. The captain just said they spent the whole time at 160 kts and below, never even retracted the take-off flaps. I thought he said not above 11,500' too. Maybe I misunderstood.

Those numbers sound like one of my missions. :-)

Sarah said...

I heard a bit of the post-flight press conference too, though I missed the landing. The questions where mostly lame - my favorite was, "Do you have an pre-flight rituals, any prayers?". Sheese. It was a routine flight. Sounded like they pushed the first-flight limits with weather a bit - first flight IFR with ice in the clouds, though they spent hours above a cloud deck. Doing slow-flight.

I wondered what the take-off weight was. Maybe it was the angle, but it did look like a lot of dihedral bendy-wing going on. Looked like the bow you see in long span gliders with the airbrakes open!

Aviatrix said...

I thought that question was especially lame, too. You ask an engineer and test pilot if he prayed that his airplane would work or that he would fly it competently? I think "Sorry, I didn't hear the question" was an excellent answer.

GPS_Direct said...

Heh... I didn't see the after flight conference, but I would have guessed the pre-flight prayer would have been something like Alan Shepard in Freedom 7:

"Dear God, please don't let me firetruck this up."

Sums things up for all pilots, I think...

Scott Johnson said...

Glad the reporter didn't ask if he was a turtle. :)

I too noticed and was struck by the way the wingtips deflected upward. I suppose some flex is expected on a wing made primarily of composite materials, but this brought back memories of the Rutan Voyager. It sure was fun seeing that bird finally take flight, though!

Aviatrix said...

They're supposed to bend like that. You've all seen this video of the wing stress test about 4 months ago, right?

Sarah said...

Ahaha, thanks for that pointer, Scott. I may have heard of the turtles, but never the whole story.

And yes, GPS_Direct, that's exactly the prayer that came to my mind.

Anonymous said...

And just as importantly to me, it stopped as well as it flew.

Some say that the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster seperation takes place at t+126 seconds, because that is the longest the engineers could comfortably hold their breath.

I think the 787 rollout after touch down was about the longest I have held my breath recently.

It was the first landing of a large commercial passenger airplane with Electric brakes.


Anonymous said...

Electric Brakes

Lakotahope said...

Yeah, I "supposedly tracked" it on FlightAware and it looked like it was just flying all over the local area.

Also, those wings were bowed way up further than I would have guessed for a heavy and at takeoff (maiden). I agree with Scott Johnson, it reminded me of Burt Rutans Voyager....

Aviatrix said...

It was staying mostly over water, in areas where the cloud deck was not too low, and in American airspace.

Jim said...

Flightaware data was quite interesting - at time showing an airspeed of 40 kts. Either those are really are glider wings they've bolted on, it's Really Slow Flight, or there are some quirks in the FlightAware calculations.

N6349C said...

I just happened to be in Seattle on business (pure coincidence), and saw the 787 as it turned onto final approach over Lake Washington. I didn't realize what I was seeing until that evening. I can confirm the weather was yucky - low clouds, rain at the ground, ice in the clouds.

The next day I had a few hours before my flight back to TX, and went to Boeing Field. The bird was back inside somewhere, but I did spend a happy 2 hours at the aviation museum there. I saw the original 747, toured a Concorde and the old Air Force One, and sat in the cockpit of an SR-71.