787 manufacturer Boeing got creative with a test flight over the United States yesterday, sketching-out the outline of a 787 aircraft in the skies overhead. While the aircraft, on an endurance mission to test its new engines, looked like any other aircraft in the sky, flight tracker apps and websites drew and displayed the unique path it took. The early stages of the sketch drew a lot of attention in social media, as did the very long flight time of nearly 18 hours.
On the Flightaware.com website, the completed flight showed the sketched jet, which is also referred to by many aviation enthusiasts as the “Dreamliner.” The nose of the plane outline points toward Boeing’s home in Washington, its wings stretch from northern Michigan to southern Texas, and the tail reaches Alabama. The lengthy journey was designed to prove-out new Rolls Royce engines used on the aircraft.
The flight plan, which used US airspace as a virtual “Etch-a-Sketch”, took 17 hours and 46 minutes and covered 9,896 miles. This test journey is longer than the longest commercial airline route which links Doha, Qata to Auckland, New Zealand. That long flight takes 16 hours and 10 minutes to fly and covers a distance of 9,021 miles.
Using planes to “draw” objects in the sky isn’t new. As an example, earlier this year, an effort to draw awareness to testicular cancer went viral, leading many pilots to sketch a penis in the sky.