Boeing plans to start the fourth segment of its so-called 787 Dream Tour on March 1, as Dreamliner ZA003 visits the first of eight cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico before heading to the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, in late March. The Dreamliner made its Singapore debut on February 11, when ZA003 flew from Bangkok to the island nation for its biennial airshow on the latest leg of its six-month global tour. Following a flight back to Seattle after spending four days on static display at the Singapore Airshow, ZA003 has now logged more than 650 hours during nearly 200 flights.
The fourth leg includes stops in Toronto, from March 1 to 4; Boston, from March 4 to 5; Newark, N.J., from March 5 to 7; Mexico City, from March 7 to 9; Phoenix, from March 9 to 12; San Diego, from March 12 to 13; Long Beach, Calif., from March 13 to 15; and Salt Lake City, from March 15 to 16.
Early this month, on the leg of the tour preceding its visit to the Singapore show, the Dreamliner showed off its long-range capabilities by flying 6,668 nm nonstop, from Seattle’s Boeing Field to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
The airplane has visited some 25 locations so far, including the 2010 Farnborough Air Show in England, Alaska, Dubai, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Qatar and Ireland.
Outfitted with a representative 12-seat business class featuring B/E Diamond seats and an economy section consisting of nine-abreast Weber seats, ZA003’s cabin has undergone a number of changes over the years, from the time Boeing used the airplane as an environmental and fire detection systems test bed for FAA certification. The airplane also underwent static hold and cold weather testing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where engineers exposed it to temperatures as low as -45 degrees F. For operational cold-weather testing, it visited Fairbanks, Alaska.
Scheduled for decommissioning after three more months of touring, ZA003 will reach the end of its flying days in May under mandate by the FAA. In fact, Boeing retired the second flight-test aircraft, ZA002, during the second week of February. Meanwhile, ZA001 sits partially dismantled in San Bernardino, Calif., where crews have already begun the process of stripping its engines and other salvageable parts.