Boeing Flies 787 Pattern Over US During Test Flight - NBC Boston
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Boeing Flies 787 Pattern Over US During Test Flight

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    A Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner took a unique path as part of an endurance test flight Wednesday. The airline says its passenger jet flew for more than 18 hours and crossed 22 states to form a flight path in the shape of an airplane.

    (Published Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017)

    A test flight for a 787-8 Dreamliner took an interesting turn Wednesday. Well, it took several interesting turns.

    The 18-hour endurance flight out of Seattle departed about 3:38 p.m. PT and headed east toward Lake Superior and Marquette, Michigan.

    That's where the first of a series of interesting turns was made, a more than 180-degree turn that took it back over Beacon, Michigan, where it again changed course.

    Minutes later, it changed course again over Paulding, Michigan and began flying southwest. It would keep that course until it was over southeastern South Dakota, where it took an abrupt right.

    After flying for a bit, it was another left, then another left and again a right.

    It wasn't until the pilot made yet another right and again turned around over western Wyoming that, to those watching the flight's path, the crew's intentions became more clear.

    They were flying an outline of their own aircraft that spanned the country from border to border.

    "Rather than fly in random patterns, the test team got creative," Boeing said. "The nose of the Dreamliner is pointing at the Puget Sound region, home to Boeing Commercial Airplanes."

    Eventually the flight path would take the crew over 22 states, twisting and turning their way south to the Rio Grande Valley before reversing the turns back toward the Canadian border.

    "The wings stretch from northern Michigan near the Canadian border to southern Texas. The tail touches Huntsville, Alabama," Boeing said.

    After 12 hours, the crew were once again over Marquette, where they took a 230-degree turn to put them back on a course for Seattle. After a final three-our leg, the crew touched down at 9:40 a.m. at Seattle Boeing Field.

    According to flight paths recorded by FlightRadar24, the aircraft had recently been performing a number of test flights over the Caribbean Sea out of Curacao.