DENVER (CBS4) – One of only 20 new massive jumbo jets in the world landed in Denver on Tuesday. Pilots took test runs with Boeing’s new 787.
Passengers at Denver International Airport may soon get to fly in one.
“It still has the capability of flying overseas non-stop, it’s fuel-efficient, it can fly at high altitude, which is what we need here in Denver,” DIA spokesman Jeff Green said.
The jet took several landings and take-offs from DIA. Each time the plane’s wings seemed to bow, lifting the massive body into the cold, thin air. Inside the plane is just as impressive. Aviators say the 787 Dreamliner will bring glamour back to flying.
“You know when we started this journey we were trying to bring back — one of the concepts was to bring back the joy of aviation, the joy of flying,” said Mike Carriker, Boeing 787 test pilot.
The 787 has been in development since 2009 and delayed several times. In November electrical problems caused a fire on a test flight. Testing resumed shortly after Christmas.
Tuesday’s flight was an important one for the aviation giant. The jet proved how it could handle take-off and landing at high altitude. It used a runway made in 2003 that was designed just for jets of its size.
“This particular runway is the longest and widest commercial runway in North America, so it makes it really easy for them to test,” Green said.
DIA sees tremendous potential in the 787. Smaller than traditional jumbo jets, it’s perfect for Denver. It could eventually mean direct flights to Tokyo. Its designers say it will be very popular.
“As the market frees up, this is going to be a great airplane going forward and everybody is going to want to have one,” Scott Fancher with Boeing said.
Another reason airlines are excited about the 787 — it uses 20 percent less fuel than any other airplanes of similar size.