787 Notebook | A longtime perspective
Former Boeing employee Des Evans, who has seen nearly all the rollouts and deliveries of the company's commercial planes, described Sunday's...
Former Boeing employee Des Evans, who has seen nearly all the rollouts and deliveries of the company's commercial planes, described Sunday's debut of the 787 Dreamliner as "spectacular."
"This one is on par or maybe outdid the other ones as far as having all the dignitaries and having so many of the airline customers there and the suppliers — that did make it special," said Evans, who painted planes (among other jobs) during his Boeing career and attended the Everett rollout.
The event was less traditional than previous Boeing rollouts, Evans said, mostly because the 15,000 attendees in Everett event didn't watch the ceremonial exit of the first airplane from the hangar.
"You're sitting there and you didn't have to move," said Evans, 77. "I think in a way it was better because it's not like people are pushing in front of you."
Evans snapped a whole roll of film of the new plane, including a picture of himself that he plans to add to his "mini-museum" at his South Everett house, which is full of Boeing artifacts.
"It was a beautiful day — for the hundreds of people taking photographs it was perfect," he said.
Marketing the dream
In case folks didn't have $146 million — list price for the cheapest 787 model — on hand, Qwest Field concession stands stocked more affordable souvenirs: $16 got you an adult T-shirt, $14 would buy a children's T-shirt or a hat, and a Dreamliner model went for $39.95.
Party on, Pietro!
At one point during the festivities, the video screens displayed people from across the globe who had contributed to the 787. There were speakers from Kansas, South Carolina, Japan — and Italy, where one enthusiastic man said they'd been up celebrating for a while.
That prompted master of ceremonies Tom Brokaw to encourage the Everett crowd to make some noise. "We don't want the Italians to think they're having a better time than us."
$10 billion investment
Boeing's shares have risen 50 percent during the past two years, while shares of European Aeronautic Defence & Space, rival Airbus' parent company, have fallen 6.3 percent.
The 787 has cost $10 billion to develop, according to Paul Nisbet, an analyst at JSA Research in Newport, R.I.
About $6 billion came from Boeing and $4 billion from suppliers sharing the risk associated with developing the plane by designing their own parts, Nisbet said. Boeing project manager Michael Bair declined to say how much has been invested in the program.
As guests entered the north gate of Qwest Field, they were greeted by the Seahawks' marching band, Blue Thunder. Blitz, the Seahawks' mascot, ran around and danced. Free popcorn and water were given out, and everyone got at least one Dreamliner glider.
The last jet Boeing rolled out was its 777 on April 9, 1994. That plane was the first to be 100 percent designed using three-dimensional computer graphics and was 50 percent aluminum and 12 percent composites. United Airlines was the launch customer, taking delivery on May 15, 1995.
Seattle Times reporters Kirsten Orsini-Meinhard, Caroline Davis and Erik Ball contributed to this report, along with Bloomberg News and The Associated Press.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.