If you have to do a nearly 18-hour live engine test, why not do something fun? Boeing clearly likes fun because for the last 14 hours a 787 Dreamliner has been tracing the outline of a plane above the United States. By my count, this outline hits 17 states and spans from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the tip of Texas.
As of this post’s writing, the outline is nearly complete. The plane will then have to make its way back to Seattle. It’s scheduled to land at 9:24 PDT. You can watch the test live here.
According to various sources, this flight was not a frivolous waste of fuel. Boeing is using the long flight to test a new set of Rolls Royce engines.
This flight path keeps the Dreamliner in the air for 17 hours and 46 minutes and will cover 9,896 miles. That’s longer and farther than the longest commercial route, which links Doha, Qata to Auckland, New Zealand and takes 16 hours, 10 minutes to cover the 9,021 mile distance.
Editor’s note: A previous revision of this post stated the distance listed in the flight plan but has now been updated to reflect the actual amount of flown miles.