The Premiere of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner was broadcast live in 9 different languages. It connected all the major manufacturing plants simultaneously via satellite, including Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, Canada, and…you guessed it…Charleston. My friend, Gary Coleman, and I were THERE to photograph the event at the Vought manufacturing facility here in town!
With pre-orders of over 600 of the new airplane, this is the MOST SUCCESSFUL launch of a commercial aircraft IN HISTORY! Boeing has incorporated ergonomic concepts in designing the interior with aesthetics and extra creature comforts, including the largest windows of any commercial airplane. They’ve also used radical new designs that include increased use of lightweight composites and advanced aluminium alloys, making the aircraft more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly. It will be able to fly up to 16,000km at speeds up to Mach 0.85, yet still be able to land at smaller airports on their shorter runways.
In the first photo, you’ll see the two largest sections of the fuselage, which are the main components manufactured at the plant here in Charleston. The second image is the “money shot” that was seen around the world with all the employees holding their “Building the Dream” cards. I was standing on a 40-foot lift, right next to the TV Camera Operator who was shooting for the live broadcast. About 60-seconds before he went live, he leaned over and whispers to me “don’t breathe”. I included the third image just to give you some perspective on the precarious nature of our location! 🙂
Anyway, you’ve probably seen plenty of hype on TV and in the press about this amazing new breakthrough in aviation. For me it was just a pleasure to be there in person, knowing that I was witnessing and preserving a part of aviation history!