Fantastic Plastic: 787 ZA003 DreamTour

787 ZA003 parked at BAe Systems

Today I attended the 787 DreamTour event at Melbourne airport thanks to an invitation from Qantas & Jetstar. What a fantastic time I had, especially as I was able to bring a few of the Plane Crazy Down Under team with me.

We started at the Qantas Maintenance Base car park where we signed in with Qantas, got on a bus & were taken over to the BAe Systems hangar where the 787 was parked. Having walked around ZA001 at Oshkosh 2011 I was ready for the paint scheme, the size & the ‘feel’ of the aircraft. The new angle with today’s event was that I actually had time to get on board AND had the opportunity to record an interview one of the pilots then have some casual chats with a few of the Flight Test Engineers accompanying the aircraft on the tour.

At Qantas Engineering waiting for the bus

After chatting with one of the engineers, I approached a Boeing rep to request an interview with a pilot. They were fine with this and after a short wait, we got to record about 15 minutes of very informative content with Captain Todd Abraham covering systems, training & his flying career. Suffice to say, we’ll be getting it out on the next Plane Crazy Down Under episode :)

After that we went on board & headed straight to the cockpit (my favourite part of the tour – funny that :) then checked out the demonstration interior, looking at the various classes of seats and chatting some more with the engineers. While we could have stayed there all day chatting with the engineers & learning more fascinating information, eventually we went back outside to walk around underneath the aircraft once again.

Checking out the systems on the Flight Deck

Finally it was time to drag ourselves away & catch the last bus back to the car park where Steve & I wound up recording another Australia Desk segment for the Airplane Geeks. Not the first time we’ve recorded at Melbourne Airport (YMML) but it was definitely hard to focus on reporting the news after experiencing the 787.

I’ve already loaded the few photos I had time to take on my Flickr stream and we’ve also started to load the photos Steve Visscher & Steven Pam took on the PCDU Flickr stream. Please do check them out as there are some great shots that the guys managed to get.

What a fantastic day it turned out to be. We learned so much about the aircraft’s systems, test gear & methods as well as getting to go onboard & experience the cockpit. Thanks once again to Qantas & Jetstar for inviting me and making a bit of extra space for the team. Thanks also to Boeing for allowing us to record the interview with Todd.

Getting a feel for the size of the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines

Steven Pam can be found hamming it up when not taking photos :)

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