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World's Largest Etch-A-Sketch
August 3, 2011 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Boeing are currently testing the latest version of their venerable Jumbo Jet, the 747-8. Yesterday, in one of the last test flights prior to certification the new 747 flew for 17 hours, a distance of over 11,000 miles. The flight path can be seen here.

Boeing are not the ones to play with test flight plans, the Gulfstream V and the Cessna Citation also get in on the action. (via)
posted by jontyjago (27 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ahh! That flight path is great. I sometimes scan that site for remote sensing flight paths, I don't know how I would have reacted if I came across that squiggle.
posted by troika at 5:49 PM on August 3, 2011


ugliest. etch a sketch drawing. ever.
posted by mexican at 5:53 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The plane... drew a picture of a plane... with its own flight path.

INCEPTION CESSNA.
posted by subbes at 5:59 PM on August 3, 2011


Surely, there is a giant aerial penis in this somewhere.

INCESSNAN
posted by BeerFilter at 6:00 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love that the flight path spells out 747. What else are you going to do for 17 hours in the air?
posted by AugustWest at 6:05 PM on August 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


What's 949?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:06 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know what that was supposed to say, but this is a four.
posted by papayaninja at 6:16 PM on August 3, 2011


A friend of mine is a 747-8 test pilot. He's got some cool photos on his Facebook page.

Now am I a special snowflake?
posted by neuron at 6:17 PM on August 3, 2011


I once heard a talk by a technologist who had flown for the military way back. He wanted to pull a prank on the radar operators (I think his friend was the operator on duty) so he figured out a flight path that would allow him to fly in a perfect square on the scope.
posted by zippy at 6:21 PM on August 3, 2011


I learned to fly at PAE - it was great to be in a 172 having just taken off and then they ask you to scoot to the left so that an empty 767 can take off. You just don't realize how fast a 7X7 can climb when empty on a cold Seattle morning...if you are only used to seeing them full of passengers and fuel.
posted by carlodio at 6:41 PM on August 3, 2011


I dunno. When I think of the progress made by commercial aviation engineering from 1903-1960, and from 1960 until today, I get pretty depressed. We've actually gone backwards.

As the joke goes, in the future, men would regularly walk on the moon, and you could fly from New York to London in 3 hours. The future was the '70s.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:44 PM on August 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Was that supposed to be an endurance test? Perhaps it is worth noting that this flight was shorter than some regularly scheduled airline flights.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:45 PM on August 3, 2011


That explains THAT.

I live near Boeing Field - as you can pretty much see it from one of my windows on the other side of 5. And lately something LOUD has been taking off - louder than normal, loud enough to disturb conversations inside the house.
posted by mephron at 6:45 PM on August 3, 2011


A month ago, they flew it 2500 the miles from Seattle to Pittsburgh to pick up some sandwiches.
posted by octothorpe at 6:45 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You just don't realize how fast a 7X7 can climb when empty on a cold Seattle morning...if you are only used to seeing them full of passengers and fuel.

Huh, I wouldn't have thought it could climb at all without passengers or fuel. The more you know!
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:46 PM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


A month ago, they flew it 2500 the miles from Seattle to Pittsburgh to pick up some sandwiches.

That's fucking FANTASTIC! The only way it could have been improved is if they made a run to Schwartz's.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:02 PM on August 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Was that supposed to be an endurance test? Perhaps it is worth noting that this flight was shorter than some regularly scheduled airline flights.

Not sure what your point is - this was not an attempt to set a world record. The 747-8 passenger version has a range of around 8,000 miles and the freight version of around 4,400, so a flight of this distance is indeed endurance for this type of aircraft.
posted by jontyjago at 7:08 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know, there aren't a whole lot of regularly scheduled airline flights that spell things with their flightpaths. Lighten up.
posted by hwyengr at 9:57 PM on August 3, 2011


mephron - could be. here's the first landing at BFI in March
posted by carlodio at 10:07 PM on August 3, 2011


And lately something LOUD has been taking off - louder than normal, loud enough to disturb conversations inside the house

That would be the Blue Angels, no?
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:31 PM on August 3, 2011


Was that supposed to be an endurance test? Perhaps it is worth noting that this flight was shorter than some regularly scheduled airline flights.

2 hours shorter but 1,500 more miles than the longest flight on the list.
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 10:55 PM on August 3, 2011


Meanwhile Concorde rusts on its plinth outside Heathrow and Paris, like Prometheus in chains. Truly has the Tortoise outlasted the Hare.
posted by joannemullen at 3:02 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine is a 747-8 test pilot. He's got some cool photos on his Facebook page.

Now am I a special snowflake?


No, but he is.
posted by aught at 5:46 AM on August 4, 2011


A month ago, they flew it 2500 the miles from Seattle to Pittsburgh to pick up some sandwiches.

That's a new take on the $100 hamburger.
posted by dwbrant at 6:13 AM on August 4, 2011


I learned to fly at PAE - it was great to be in a 172 having just taken off and then they ask you to scoot to the left so that an empty 767 can take off. You just don't realize how fast a 7X7 can climb when empty on a cold Seattle morning...if you are only used to seeing them full of passengers and fuel.
posted by carlodio at 6:41 PM on August 3 [+] [!]


On 9/11/01, after one of Bush's speeches at a military base, the news happened to be broadcasting Air Force One taking off. (They aren't supposed to do that.) I have never seen something so big go so fast. It appeared that they purposely kept it on the runway building up speed, and then it shot seemingly straight up in the air like a fighter jet.
posted by gjc at 6:17 AM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Was that supposed to be an endurance test? Perhaps it is worth noting that this flight was shorter than some regularly scheduled airline flights.

You weren't reading very closely. The flight in the OP was about 1500 mi longer than the number one flight on that list, even if the time taken was shorter.
posted by invitapriore at 8:11 AM on August 4, 2011


Surely, there is a giant aerial penis in this somewhere.

There is. One of our pilots did it once in the local pattern around the airfield, he claimed it was purely coincidental...
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 10:05 AM on August 5, 2011


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