2010/05/21-22 Seattle Trip


Just two days after returning from Chino, we visited Seattle.  I was originally planning to visit Japan especially because it is 50th anniversary of Japanese Air Force's Aerobatic Team, Blue Impulse.  I really wanted to go to one of air shows in Japan.  However, Japanese yen is now too expensive, and I had to give up Japan trip.  Instead, I invited my parents to the U.S.  We met them in Seattle and then traveled to Pittsburgh together.

What makes Seattle special for airplane fans is first there is a British Airways Concorde in the Museum of Flight.  Also, Boeing's manufacturing plant is located north of the city.  I have visited Seattle three years ago.  But, now Boeing 787 Dreamliner is going through flight tests to get certified.  I was hoping to be lucky enough to see a B787 taking off and went to the Boeing factory tour.  Unfortunately, none took off from Everett.  I learned that most of the flight tests are from Beoing field where the Museum of Flight is located.  (I should have checked it before leaving Pittsburgh.)

Nonetheless, I was able to see a lot of B787s waiting to be delivered to the airlines.  By the way, we saw manufacturing lines of B747-8, B777, and B787 in the factory tour, but no photography was allowed in the factory.

I guess these B787s will become nothing special in a few months.  It is called Dreamliner and indeed uses variety of new technologies.  But, it's subsonic.  I'm waiting for someone to build a supersonic airliner.  With the latest technology, it must be possible to build an airliner that is more fuel efficient, more spacious, and with lower maintenance cost.

Dreamlifter.  It carries big parts for B787 from overseas plants. In fact both two Dreamlifters were by the factory. A B787 to be delivered to All Nippon Airways.  Engines are not yet mounted.  A dead weight was hung on the pylon.
I suppose this B787 should be used as a part of testing. Close up look. Another B787 for All Nippon Airways.
This is the factory building. Another B787 for All Nippon Airways taken from the parking lot of the Future of Flight museum.

On the second day, we flew a sight-seeing flight from Seattle Seaplanes.  This flight school is conveniently located near the downtown.  Just 10 or 15 minutes from the downtown by taxi.  We flew in a sea-plane version of Cessna 206.  The instructor let me fly after take off, and I logged 0.4 hours of single-engine-sea dual-instruction time.

Taxing(?) on lake Union for take off. Downtown Seattle. Qwest field and Safeco field.

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