The new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet pulled off a spectacular demonstration flight at the Farnborough Air Show in England Monday, and though the plane’s maneuvers looked spectacular from the ground, just be glad you weren’t on board.
The video above, produced by Boeing, shows the highlights of the six-minute flight, with the company’s top test pilot, Captain Randall Lee Neville, at the controls. Now, the stunts he pulls off may not be as spectacular as you’d see at air shows featuring smaller planes. But just imagine if you were on board this aircraft as Captain Neville puts it through its paces.
For example, in the video you’ll see Boeing’s latest jet — the most fuel-efficient passenger jet so far created by the company — take off at a 30 degree angle. Compare that to he normal 10 degree angle, 20 degree tops, for a standard takeoff.
You’ll also see Captain Neville execute a 60 degree angle banking move. Big jets are not supposed to bank at more than 45 degrees. Anything more than that, and the pilot can lose control of the airplane.
Then there’s the touch-and-go landing. Phew.
If you like aviation, or for that matter, if you’ve ever been in a big plane as most of us have, you’ll find yourself a little awestruck that a jet the size of the Boing 787-9 Dreamliner can pull off these moves. But you’ll also be glad you weren’t a passenger, or you’d be reaching for the airsickness bag in a hurry.
In a real flight, if a plane needed to execute any of these maneuvers, you’d know the aircraft was in big trouble. But at big international air shows like the one in Farnborough this week, the public gets a chance to see a big jet like the Dreamliner pushed to its impressive limits.
Though Boeing doesn’t like to talk about how fast the plane can fly, the Dreamliner’s top speed is reported to be 687 mph, or roughly 85 percent the speed of sound.
Earlier models of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner have been in service since 2011, though their record has sometimes been troubling. Last year, the entire fleet of Dreamliners was grounded for months as engineers solved a problem with batteries overheating.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is touted as an upgrade from the earlier models. Boeing just delivered its first order last Friday, to Air New Zealand, with more than 400 more on order from various airlines.