Seattle’s Museum of Flight gets a Dreamliner

It’s still so new – but the 787 Dreamliner is already a museum piece.

On Saturday, Nov. 8, the Boeing Company will officially donate Dreamliner “Number 3” to Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

If you’re in town, you’ll be able to see the plane in the museum’s East Parking Lot all weekend and tour it from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, and all day Sunday, Nov. 9.

The plane will then be relocated and closed to the public from Nov. 10 until the 21st while it gets prepped for permanent exhibition starting Nov. 22.

What’s the big deal about this airplane?

This 787 – ZA003 – was the third Dreamliner built. It first flew on March 14, 2010 and, in addition to its role in the flight test and certification program, Boeing flew this plane to almost two dozen countries to show it off as part of a “Dream Tour.”

Souvenir Sunday at the Boeing Store


It’s always fun to go to Everett, Wash. for a delivery ceremony for a new airplane and last week there was an especially festive event for EVA Air to celebrate delivery of the airline’s 16th and 17th Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

These two planes are the first to sport the new Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system and feature a variety of seat, service and amenity upgrades.

Going to a delivery ceremony in Everett also offers the opportunity to shop at the Boeing Store and stock up on airplane-shaped paperclips and tins of 787 & 777 mints.


Want some of these?

You can, of course, go the Boeing Store and get some there, or you can send me a photo and some descriptive information about a fun, inexpensive and locally-themed souvenir you’ve found at an airport or aviation center.

If your souvenir is featured on Souvenir Sunday, I’ll send you a ‘reward’ from my stash of recently scored souvenirs from the Boeing Store.

Worried about the 787 and the one-butt ashtray

Boeing, the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), airlines and all manner of interested parties are worried about the fate of the 787 Dreamliner.

And I am too.  For all the reasons everyone else wants all the problems to be resolved but also because I’m worried about the fate of the one-butt ashtray.

LAN 787 lav

While smoking is prohibited on airplanes, there are still some knuckleheads who will go into an airplane bathroom and light up. And in an effort to keep these smoking scofflaws from disposing of a lit or still smoldering cigarette in a trash bin filled with paper towels, there are regulations in place requiring that there be ashtrays in airplane lavatories and other spots.

On most airplanes, you’ll spot the square metal ashtrays many of us are familiar with from the old days when there were ashtrays in every airplane armrest.

But for the 787 some smart designer has come up with a charming and elegant little ashtray that works just like a flip out coat hook and will hold no more than a single cigarette butt.

So for that reason, I say “Save the 787.” It may save some butts.

Travel Tidbits: private screeners & fish


Later this month, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was scheduled to send out requests for proposals (RFPs) for private security screening firms to replace federal screeners at Sacramento International Airport (SMF) in California and Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB) in Florida as part of the Screening Partnership Program (SPP). The contract for private screening services at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), which was one of the first airports to be part of the program, is also going out for re-bidding.

Sixteen airports are currently part of the program, which was set up under the Aviation Transportation Security Act (ATSA) of 2001 and requires private contract companies approved by the TSA to adhere to the agency’s standards.

Some airport administrators believe private screeners do a better job than their federal counterparts but, as you might imagine, the union that represents federal TSA employees – the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) – isn’t too happy with the prospect of some of its members possibly losing their jobs.

In California, the union has been lobbying against the move to have Sacramento International Airport join the Screening Partnership Program and on Tuesday the Sacramento County’s board of supervisors voted to back out of the program.


Meanwhile, at Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS), which has been the site of some 787 Dreamliner problems, there’s some news on the fish front:

On Wednesday, January 9, Legal Sea Foods, which has been a welcome dining amenity at the airport for almost twenty years, is moving the first of its four airport restaurants from its pre-security location in Terminal C to a new, snazzy post-security spot that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The new restaurant has a fish sculpture at the entryway, a digital board displaying flight information, a 54-person dining room and a 27-seat bar with stools designed to store carry-on bags underneath.