“Demonstration by Boeing test pilots. Do not attempt.” That’s the warning before a startlingly impressive new two-minute video that shows Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliner take off almost vertically and perform eyebrow-raising manoeuvres in the sky.
The B787-9, weighing over 180 tonnes, turns and moves almost like a military aircraft, putting on a wing-wagging aeronautical display that makes the aircraft seem to waltz through the air.
Test pilots only rarely get to try this sort of flying – and they love it. The plane, in All Nippon Airways livery, was filmed last week as its practiced for the 2016 Farnborough Air Show to be held in the UK this coming weekend. The B787-9 is 6.1 metres longer than the B787-8 and launch customer for the B787-9 was Air New Zealand.
You can see what commercial airliners are capable of, when they are empty of cargo and passengers. The reason pilots don’t fly them like this more often is not because the planes can’t do it – it’s because too many passengers would be reaching for the sick bags.
Written by Peter Needham