CBS Local — Call it the test flight seen around the world. While performing a mandatory 18-hour endurance test flight, the team at the helm of a Boeing Dreamliner 787-8 decided to “get creative” and draw a self-portrait in the sky that had social media abuzz.
“Rather than fly in random patterns, the test team got creative, flying a route that outlined a 787-8 in the skies over 22 states,” Boeing spokesman Doug Alder, Jr., said via The Washington Post. “The nose of the Dreamliner is pointing at the Puget Sound region, home to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The wings stretch from northern Michigan near the Canadian border to southern Texas. The tail touches Huntsville, Alabama.”
This isn’t the first time Boeing had a little fun during test flights. Earlier this year, one plane outlined its name in the sky.
While it’s relatively common for planes to take interesting flight routes, it’s also pretty common for people to take notice.
From The Washington Post:
Interesting flight patterns are not uncommon, according to Flightradar24, a site that tracks live air traffic globally.
“’What’s this plane doing?’ is a question we get more than any other,” a Flightradar 24 blog says. “Users will post a screenshot to our Facebook or Twitter pages and wonder why they’re seeing a particular flight path.”
According to the site, reasons for unusual flight patterns can include pilots conducting aerial surveys, calibrating instrument landing systems, holding for airport congestion, avoiding bad weather and, yes, just having fun.
The Boeing 787-8 has been in service since 2011 and typically holds up to 242 passengers. To date, Boeing has delivered 340 to international airlines like United Airlines, British Airways, American Airlines and more.
Luckily for customers of those companies, the meandering 18-hour route this particular airliner took isn’t in any flight plans any time soon.