Starting Sept. 16, the Boeing’s Future of Flight Aviation Center in Everett, Wash. near Paine Field will offer tours of “Dreams Take Flight,” its own special liveried Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The Dreamliner, currently parked next to the museum, is a tribute to the Employees Community Fund of Boeing.
Wrapped entirely in an elaborate wrap, the aircraft boasts the largest decal to be displayed on an aircraft. In order to affix the wrap, the aircraft exterior is first cleaned in Boeing’s paint hangar. While some of the surfaces were painted -including those facing into the wind – the majority of the aircraft is decal. The flow from start to finish took roughly about the same amount of time a normal aircraft would to paint, approximately seven days.
Much like wraps used on cars, this livery was printed out in strips and applied similarly to wallpaper. Over 800 pieces were used to complete the design, starting from the back and moving forward to protect the overlap. Once finished, it was then sprayed with a clear coat to give it shine and seal the joins.
This application is expected to last as long as a normal painted livery, somewhere between 4-8 years depending on the operating conditions it flies in. Most airlines are not likely to opt for a full-body decal, but this clever demonstration shows clients what the decal is capable of, intricacies that would have needed to be hand-painted in the past can now be printed and rolled on.
Wearing its new colors, the aircraft still conducts flight testing for the Dreamliner product line. Boeing took the aircraft out on a test flight late last month looking for some stormy weather and found some near Portland, Ore. A precipitation static test was performed to check for static build up and if it would affect radios or instrumentation. As expected, it performed perfectly without issue.
The Dreams Take Flight Dreamliner will be parked next to Future of Flight for the next couple of weeks before it heads to Charleston, S.C. to be part of the Charleston Boeing Family Day celebration. While in Everett, guided public walk-around tours will be available starting the week of September 16.
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