Boeing 787 Dreamliner Lands at DCA

by ARLnow.com May 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm 9,028 22 Comments

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed at Reagan National Airport around 10:50 this morning as part of an international promotional tour for the aircraft.

The widebody jetliner (wingspan: 197 feet) will spend the next few days parked at the airport, before departing on Friday morning, according to Boeing. Government and airline officials and members of the media are among those expected to be invited to tour the aircraft during its time at DCA. No public tours are planned.

According to Boeing, the jetliner — first put into commercial service in October 2011 — is outfitted with “special cabin features including a welcoming entryway, dramatically larger dimmable windows, bigger bins and dynamic LED lighting.” The 787 is noted for its use of lightweight composite materials, which helps make it 20 percent more fuel efficient than similar-sized airliners. It’s also designed to be quieter and  more comfortable for passengers than older models.

Today’s landing (see: video) was unusual for Reagan National, since widebody aircraft typically do not operate out of the airport. The plane will depart DCA for Dallas, Texas on Friday.

Last fall the Arlington County Board approved plans for Boeing to build a new regional headquarters near Crystal City.

Photos (top, bottom right) courtesy Boeing. Photo (bottom left) courtesy Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.


  • CrystalMikey

    Very cool.

  • TryTheTacos

    Blerg! I would have gone to see this, had I known! Maybe Friday…

  • CourthouseChris

    I hope that as a member of the press someone on Arlnow’s staff can take a tour of the plane and report back to us.

  • Tim

    Was it on top of Space Shuttle Discovery, which was itself on top of a 747?

    • BC

      757s can fly across the pond easily (and do frequently) but they’re still not taking off from DCA. It’s more about the regulation, the weight of the plane with massive fuel and legislation than runway length these days.

      • JamesE

        757s do fly from National, I had one direct to Vegas

      • kevin

        BC: 757s do fly in and out of DCA. Also, the runway length is directly related to the weight of the plane. I’m pretty sure you could fly an empty 747 in and out of DCA whenever you felt like it, but it’d be empty, so why bother.

      • Max

        An empty DC-10 once took off from DCA with almost half a runway left. Planes are amazing machines, and particularly powerful (when empty and useless). 757s are both powerful and light weight enough to reach most destinations in the Continental United States. I don’t believe a 757 could reach California from here (obviously, it theoretically could – they fly every day from IAD, but the issue is weight, and you can’t fill the 757 up to capacity with fuel) so the farthest they go is Salt Lake City.

        • Josh

          Actually Alaska Airlines flight 5 offers direct service from Nationa
          l to LAX using a 737, no stops.


          • JamesE

            I’ve taken this flight, free wifi also on Alaska.

          • Max

            Read what I wrote again. 737s are completely different from 757s. 737s hold fewer passengers than 757s and are lighter-weight. Alaska uses a 737-800 for these flights (along with their flights to Seattle). They used to use a 737-900 (larger than a 737-800, but still smaller than a 757), but it got to the point that they had to stop several times enroute that they switched to the lighter weight 737-800.

            Again, the issue isn’t that a 737 or 757 could not reach the west coast from Washington, DC. The issue is that in order to reach a speed that would allow for the plane to take off on DCA’s shorter runways the plane would have to weigh less. That is done by using less fuel, thereby reducing the range of the plane.

        • madhouse24


          Maximum Takeoff Weight 272,500 lb (123,600 kg)

          Maximum Range 3,395 nautical miles (6,287 km)

  • Right outside my office window this morning!

  • MC

    It would be cool to think in future National could offer direct flights to Europe or South America on a 787.

  • gapster

    Saweet! I’m with TryTheTacos – I knew it was landing today, just didn’t know what time. Waah!

    Great video BTW.

  • great video!

  • mike

    flight distances from DCA are mostly limited by federal legislation on how far they can fly, not necessarily the takeoff parameters of the planes themselves.

  • henry bennet xii

    This validates the runway extensions. Yes it is on display. To show those western Congress members what is possibly.
    occupy 787.

  • Terri

    Who cares, it’s like Obama’s vacations, an event of, by, for VIPs and the media. How about some good coverage of Neighborhood Day?


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