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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You can watch live as Boeing's 787 takes to the air Tuesday morning

EVERETT — In just a day, the Boeing Co. will attempt to fly its 787 Dreamliner for the first time.

Depending on weather conditions, Boeing will put its new jet in the air at 10 a.m. Tuesday, from Paine Field. Despite a two-year delay, the highly anticipated flight of the 787 is certain to draw crowds, even if Tuesday’s weather forecast of 43-degree weather and rain holds.

On Saturday, Boeing completed the last round of taxi and pre-flight tests required for takeoff.

Boeing’s Dreamliner is expected to take off toward the north and fly for up to five hours before landing at Boeing Field in Seattle.

The company is making it easy on people who want to watch the much-anticipated event but can’t or don’t want to brave the weather. Boeing will begin a live webcast 24 hours before first flight. The live feed can be viewed on the company’s Web site,

Boeing is allowing employees to come out and watch the jet take off from Everett’s Paine Field or land at Seattle’s Boeing Field, said Yvonne Leach, spokeswoman for the 787 program. Employees also can watch the webcast.

Besides the webcast, the public has a few options for watching the 787 take off at Paine Field, which will likely see a flood of aviation enthusiasts.

The Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour will close its gallery and deck for a private event for first flight. But the center’s cafe and gift shops will be open to the public. And up to 242 people can watch the 787’s first flight in the center’s theater for at no charge.

Of course, 787 enthusiasts likely will swamp the Future of Flight’s parking lot and knoll looking out onto Paine Field. However, parking is limited and the parking lot will not be open to the public until 6:30 a.m., the day of first flight.

The Future of Flight will host a VIP party on its Strato Deck and in the gallery below for donors who have given $250 to the aviation center’s foundation. To receive a ticket to the event, which includes a parking pass, you need to make the donation at least a day in advance of first flight.

Several public parks around the area could serve as good viewing spots as well:

  • Harborview Park: 1621 Mukilteo Blvd., Everett.

    Walter E. Hall Park: 1226 SW Casino Road, Everett.

    American Legion Memorial Park: 145 Alverson Blvd., Everett.

    10th Street Marina Park and other sites along West Marine Drive in Everett: 10th Street and W. Marine View Drive, Everett.
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