Weird Boeing test flight

Just a bit off-topic on this one!

I was sitting working on our top deck this morning when I spotted a large commerical airliner being shadowed by a small jet. I rushed in to grab my binoculars, assuming the escort was military and something was wrong with the airliner. Then things got really weird – the airliner started losing height, then climbing sharply, doing circles and sharp turns – all the while with the smaller jet buzzing around it. I was surprised with some of the manouvers the airliner was making, it seemed to go really low at times.

Here’s where I started to get more excited – our top deck looks out over Lake Sammamish, with a 180o view of the Cascades from North Bend up to Mount Baker, so I could watch the jets all the time. This is about 20 miles south of the Boeing plant at Everett, WA which is assembling the 787 Dreamliner. Could it be an early, unannounced test flight? The jets finally came close enough to identify the livery as Emirates Airlines. However, checking the Wikipedia list of 787 orders (see, I don’t see them listed, and IIRC they’ve bought a bunch of Airbus A380s.

So, I was dismayed to start with thinking I was watching a hijacking in progress, then excited for a bit thinking I was watching an unannounced test flight, but it must have been for a 777 instead. Still, very strange to see a little jet buzzing around a very large one, and to see the large one doing such dramatic manouvers so close the ground. Wish I’d thought to take a photo of them.

Oh well, back to work…

Edit 8/29/08: Just had a response back from Boeing (impressive) that it was a test flight for one of 777s that were deliveredd to Emirates Airlines this week.

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