Dream Takeoff

By Zheyuan Zheng

September 2015

My Boeing story began in 2006 when I was still 7. It was the first time for me to travel by air and I can still clearly remember our flight from HGH to SYX, which was operated by a Boeing 737-800 owned by China southern Airlines. It was a magic time for me when the thrust was increased to over 80 percent and pilots began to operate the takeoff procedure. The experience inspired me of the magic of our technology and I began to be interested in aviation.

Several years passed and it seemed that there was nothing to do for me to develop that "strange" hobby, except taking some more air trips to other cities. The planes I had mostly taken were the Boeing 737 series, for I had never traveled abroad until I was 10.

However, something meaningful just came for me. In 2011, I applied for a special program held by Dragon Air and Cathay Pacific. It was the first time I could get a near touch of Boeing's broad-body aircraft. In the program, we visited the training center of Cathay Pacific Airways. We entered the flight-deck simulator of a Boeing 777. It was the first time I entered the most mysterious and the most complicated part of an aircraft. I learned a lot about how the flights are operated and I made it my dream that I shall work for an aircraft manufacturer in the future.

In 2014, in another teen education program of Cathay Pacific, I visited the HAECO, or Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co. I stood near the landing gear of a Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) and listened to a brief introduction by a Hong Kong engineer of how the flaps influence the flight operation.

In the summer of 2015, as my family decided to take a trip to America, we visited the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash., and the Museum of Flight. They are all fascinating places and I was attracted by those jumbo jets that were just manufactured by the high-efficiency assembly line. That summer, at that time, when we ran into a successful landing of a Boeing Dreamlifter at Paine Airport, I made a promise to the field and myself that I'm going to work hard in school and try to work at Boeing, to get a closer sight of what I love.

It has been 10 years since I took my first flight from my hometown to a recreation place. Since then, I have flown more than 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) with Boeing aircraft. I believe Boeing started my dream -- and Boeing can be the destination of my dream.

I'm studying in Shanghai now. A takeoff of a Boeing aircraft started my dream, and now it's my time for takeoff -- for using 100 percent of my effort to reach my destination.