Jonathan Gaffney, president and CEO of the National Aeronautic Association has presented Boeing with two certificates confirming the official status of the two world records earned by the 787 Dreamliner in late 2011. The airplane earned records for completing the longest flight for an airplane in its weight class with a 10,336 nmi (19,142 km) flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh. This record had previously been held by the Airbus A330 with a 9,126 nmi (16,901 km) flight in 2002.
Following refueling in Dhaka, the crew continued eastbound and returned to Seattle 42 hours and 26 minutes after their initial departure, completing the fastest around-the-world trip for the same weight class at 470 knots (871 km/h). There was no previous around-the-world speed record for this weight class.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the company’s response to the call from airliners for aircraft with lower operating costs. The Dreamliner makes extensive use of composite materials to improve its fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and flight range with 50% of the aircraft constructed from lightweight materials. This has resulted in an aircraft that is 20% lighter than traditional aluminum designs.
Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, welcomed Gaffney to an informal ceremony in Everettattended by more than 2,000 employees.
“These world records demonstrate what we have been saying about the 787 all along – it is a world-class product. The airlines told us they wanted an airplane that was fuel-efficient, durable and capable,” said Albaugh. “That’s what we are delivering with the Dreamliner.”
Gaffney told employees, “Around-the-world records are extremely challenging, and Boeing should be very proud of the successful world and national records they achieved with these flights. We were proud to have had the opportunity to record and certify them.”
He presented the certificates to two of the six pilots who flew the record-setting missions. Capt. Rod Skaar led the crew, which included former 787 chief pilot Capt. Mike Carriker.
“It’s an honor to receive these certificates on behalf of all of the men and women of The Boeing Company,” said Skaar. “It takes an amazing amount of talent and perseverance to create an all-new airplane. A lucky few of us get to fly the airplane. We are always well aware that we are carrying the pride of the entire company as we go.”