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Boeing Dreamliner Crew Draws Enormous Outline Of Their Plane In The Sky

The flight path of a Boeing 787-8 that traced out an image of the aircraft.
The flight path of a Boeing 787-8 that traced out an image of the aircraft.

It was not so much skywriting as it was skydoodling.

To pass the time during a routine test flight, a team of Boeing pilots used their own flightpath to draw a giant outline of the very plane they were flying — a 787-8 Dreamliner. The picture they sketched stretched over 22 U.S. states and took 18 hours of flight time to complete.

"The nose is pointing at the Puget Sound region, home to Boeing Commercial Airplanes," the aircraft maker said in a statement.

"The wings stretch from northern Michigan near the Canadian border to southern Texas. The tail touches Huntsville, Alabama," it added.

There's no word on how flight controllers reacted to the rather unique flight path. But the folks at Flightradar24, a flight tracker website, took note when all but the trailing edge of the starboard wing was complete.

And they weren't the only ones to notice as #Dreamliner showed.

Back in February, a team test flying a Boeing 737 Max pulled a similar maneuver, writing the plane's moniker in the sky.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: August 4, 2017 at 12:00 AM EDT
A previous version of this story referred to the plane as a Boeing 787-800. It is a 787-8.
Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.