MOSES LAKE, Washington — There’s a famous quote: “If you did it, it ain’t braggin’.”
Boeing did it — in front of a camera. An eyepopping rehearsal video Boeing released Thursday shows off its newest version of the Dreamliner aircraft — the 787-9 — performing some impressive and beautiful turns and ascents.
The takeoff alone will get your attention.
So maybe it’s not bragging, but the flight certainly qualifies as world-class swagger for the Dreamliner, which is scheduled for a performance next week at the Paris Air Show. Watch these breathtaking “technical maneuvers” — as Boeing calls them — while the Vietnam Airlines plane soars over Moses Lake, Washington.
But maybe you shouldn’t be too impressed.
“Some of what you’re seeing on takeoff is a trick of perspective,” said 767 airline pilot Patrick Smith. “It looks like the takeoff is at a near vertical 90 degree angle — trust me it’s not.”
Typically, when passengers are on board, “a 20 degree pitch-up on takeoff is pretty strong,” said Smith, who also blogs on aviation at AskthePilot.com.
“Presumably the plane was very light because it wasn’t carrying any passengers, probably had a very light fuel load, no frieght, so it would have been able to perform a steeper than normal ascent — but not to the extent the video seems to show,” Smith said.
“But for demonstration purposes, under lightweight conditions, it’s perfectly natural for this airplane to do that. It’s nothing dangerous.”
Inside the cockpit during the rehearsal, Smith said, the pilots may have been offering verbal cues to each other while keeping an eye on the airspeed, rate of climb, altitude — and on a 787, all these things are combined on the same display screen.
“If they’re pushing the envelope and having fun, they might be going a bit past what the command bars are showing, but just temporarily — again, it’s the Paris Air Show!”
The Dreamliner family has been the darling of aviation enthusiasts around the world since the first version debuted in 2011. Its lightweight, fuel-saving superstrong carbon fiber materials and other cutting edge design features were touted as the future of the airline industry.
The dash-9, the latest version of the Dreamliner, first rolled off the assembly line in Everett, Washington, in 2013 and was delivered to its first customer, New Zealand Airlines, the next year. It’s longer and has a longer range than its predecessor, the 787-8.