Secrets of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner revealed
THE SECRETS OF THE BIGGEST DEVELOPMENT IN AIRLINE HISTORY REVEALED
With only seven weeks until deadline, it seemed to be a mission impossible to deliver the first new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on schedule for its inaugural Qantas flight to Australia.
It was a race against time at Boeing’s Seattle factory as designers, engineers, fitters, trainers and crew readied the majestic aircraft – dubbed ‘Great Southern Land’ – for its ground-breaking journey. In the highly-regulated aviation industry, this was a gamechanger – not least for Qantas pilots Lisa Norman and Alex Passerini, who were charged with bringing the airline’s debut B787-9 Down Under.
‘Landing the first Dreamliner into Sydney and realising my dream came true is a moment I will never forget,’ says Lisa, who has been flying for 32 years, 28 of them with the national flag carrier. ‘It’s a beautiful aircraft.’
Just what makes this journey so special is revealed in a new documentary – First Flight: Secrets Of The Dreamliner – which gives an unprecedented fly-on-the-wall peek inside the Boeing factory.
‘Viewers will be impressed how quickly Boeing can put together the Dreamliner, from 18 days to 14 days, which is amazing for such a technologically-advanced aircraft,’ says 50-year-old Lisa, who first flew solo in a tiny Piper Cherokee Warrior. ‘They will also be surprised by the amount of people across Qantas that came together as a great team to make this one of the most successful deliveries in Qantas’ 97-year history.’
The Dreamliner boasts the most advanced engineering in the skies, built to fly further and with less fuel than any other aircraft. But Qantas plans to push it further than other airlines, linking Australia to Europe in a single hop from Perth to London.
‘Overall, it’s a great travelling experience with larger windows, spacious cabin feel and lighting that is scientifically proven to assist with jet lag,’ says Queenslander Lisa, who shares two children with her partner Wendy.
‘The love for flying is in my blood. My grandfather served in the RAAF during WWII and one of my uncles was an Ansett captain. I have always been fascinated by anything in the space and aeronautical field. I have licences for cars, bikes, boats and flying.
‘The first time I ever took the controls as a pilot was exhilarating and surreal, but there were many hurdles... Some gentlemen initially did not think women could or should fly and we were not welcome.
‘The biggest challenge was having to prove I could fly every time I stepped onto the flight deck.’