Sunday, 2 December 2012

Dreamliner over Jeziorki

At long last! I see it with my own eyes, after the years of waiting and delay - here she is! The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, in Linie Lotnicze LOT livery, over my house! SP-LRA, the first of LOT's fleet of eight aircraft ordered from Boeing. In fact, this is the very first Dreamliner to be delivered to a European airline.

I could make it out from a great distance - even well beyond Piaseczno, its long, flexy wings, bent upward at the tips like a slender banana, are unmistakeable. Far enough for me to grab my camera, change lenses to the mighty Nikkor 80-400mm (equivalent to 600mm on a DX-format sensor) and pop out onto the balcony. It sure makes and impression - it is big, it is quiet - and yet... and yet - those windows. The passenger windows are much larger than on any other airliner, giving the visual impression that the plane is therefore smaller than it really is. But I can assure you, the 787-8 Dreamliner is big; its 2m longer and with a 13m longer wingspan than the 767-300s that it will replace in LOT service. The Boeing 767 has been in commercial service for 30 years; LOT's fleet dates back to the early 1990s.

Below: LOT's 767-300, SP-LPA over Jeziorki, January 2009. And on the subject of LOT's 767 fleet, click here to see the most widely viewed post on my blog of all time ever (Captain Tadeusz Wrona bringing the disabled SP-LPE down over Jeziorki en route to a safe wheels-up landing at Okęcie).

This morning, I watched the Dreamliner flying south over Auchan, Piaseczno. A lovely sight, and so quiet too. By March of next year there will be more Dreamliners in LOT's fleet, serving the long-distance routes. For now, SP-LRA is flying training and promotional flights to regional airports.

I wish the new fleet well. LOT has had no fatalities during its post-communist history - may it continue to fly safely, may the Dreamliners serve as well as their predecessors. And may we one day fly one across the Atlantic to visit the New World.


Gordon Hawley said...

Great video of the plane leaving Paine Field headed for Warsaw on November 14th.

Gordon Hawley said...

And now this poor plane is stuck in Chicago.

Gordon Hawley said...

And now the poor plane is stranded in Chicago.