Earlier this week, the first of eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on order for Australian flag carrier QANTAS was rolled out of Boeing’s main factory in Everett, Washington.
The 787-9 will single handedly change modern aviation thanks to QANTAS announcing new flights between Perth and London-Heathrow starting next year, the first nonstop flight between the two countries in history.
Back in May, the airline revealed the names of the eight 787’s joining the fleet, a tradition within the airline when new aircraft come online. The first example, which was rolled out this week and will be registered VH-ZNA, is named “Dreamtime.” The airline held a contest earlier this year for Australian citizens to choose from twenty different names, and Dreamtime, Boomerang, Great Barrier Reef, Great Southern Land, Quokka, Skippy, Uluru, and Waltzing Matilda were the names chosen for the first batch of examples.
The new 787 for the airline will feature only 236 seats, with 42 business class flat bed seats, 28 premium economy seats with a 38″ pitch and 20.5″ width, and 166 economy class seats with a 32″ pitch and 17.2″ seat width.
The flight between Perth and Heathrow will cover a whopping 9,010 miles (14,500 km), making it by far the longest flight on Earth. The addition of the flight will push aviation through a barrier never seen before, and this is thanks to the incredible efficiency of the Boeing 787. Airlines can now fly further between two smaller cities with less demand in a far more efficient manner, and without the 787 a nonstop flight between mainland Australia and the United Kingdom would just have been a dream.
Keep an eye out the next few weeks/months for the aircraft to perform test flights over the state of Washington and doing landing/takeoff tests at Everett/Paine Field in Everett, Washington.
All photos and media from QANTAS Airways.