A Boeing donation became a community celebration Saturday as the third 787 Dreamliner became part of Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
More than 10,000 Boeing employees and retirees, their families and friends, and members of the public turned out during the weekend for an up-close look at ZA003, the first of three flight-test 787s Boeing plans to share with museums around the world.
“This donation is a great example of Boeing’s commitment to the communities where our people live and work,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 787 program, Commercial Airplanes. “By donating this 787 to the Museum of Flight, our teammates, their families and our community here in the Puget Sound will be able to visit and see the airplane that all of you have supported on this journey.”
During the ceremony Saturday, several Boeing employees who played a role in the design, build and test of the 787 disembarked and presented artifacts from the program, which will become part of the museum’s collection.
“It feels very special — I almost can’t believe it,” said Nancy McCutchin, 787 Interiors, who has been on the 787 program since the beginning and will soon retire after 27 years with Boeing.
Local high school students with a passion for aviation also participated in the celebration, a chance for them to meet the Boeing team and see the 787 close up.
And the verdict?
“Oh gosh, it was amazing,” said Andrew Deny, a student at Raisbeck Aviation High School in Tukwila, Wash. “You could tell all the nice things about it, [all] the details.”
Fellow Raisbeck student Sophia Gut was impressed by the teamwork the 787 represents. “It was really inspiring to see everyone who really worked on it. It came full circle to me,” she said. “Just the amount of effort that goes into a plane like this — I don’t think we get to see that very often.”
By Eric Olson and Julie O'Donnell