flywrite
Topic Author
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:56 am

British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Wed May 02, 2012 9:17 pm

On Monday 30th April I was invited to attend the re-opening ceremony of British Airways' hangar at London Heathrow which has been modified to accept the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 aircraft which will join the fleet in 2013.

http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_3047.jpg
http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/gallery/787-dream-tour/img_3038.jpg
http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/gallery/787-dream-tour/img_3006.jpg

This even coincided with the 787 Dreamliner World Tour visiting the UK, and upon arrival at the hangar the aircraft - N787BX - was inside looking very shiny indeed.

http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/gallery/787-dream-tour/img_2999.jpg
Alongside was the newly painted British Airways A319 G-EUOH, which has the 'Dove' scheme for the London Olympics, of which the airline is a partner sponsor.

After welcome refreshments and a chance to mingle with the assembled staff, loyalty customers, writers and photographers, we were called to gather in front of a small stage where Garry Copeland, Director of Engineering, said a few words about the significance of the work that has been done.

http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/gallery/787-dream-tour/img_2966.jpg

This hangar is Grade II listed, due to the architecture in the arch which dates from the BOAC days. As such, modifying it to accept an aircraft as large as the A380 whilst staying within regulations, was no mean (or cheap) feat. Even the 787 brings its own difficulties, with extra power and maintenance requirements.

The hangar has had an area of offices replaced with rigs that can extend partially alongside aircraft. It has also had a slot cut above the doors to accept the A380's tail.

http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/gallery/787-dream-tour/img_3057.jpg
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For most, the day was a chance to get up close to the 787. Everyone was given a 'slot' to take a tour of the inside of the aircraft. Mine was at 10.20am, and I dutifully ascended the steps on time along with others in my group.

Upon entering, the space is immediately apparent. Boeing has created this 'cathedral effect' lobby, with arching ceiling and impressive lighting panels. Sadly most carriers will need to fill this space with seats, but it's nice to see what could be done.

Our guide explained the unique makeup and features of the Dreamliner. He showed us the area set aside for First Class, and demonstrated the overhead lockers which have a lot of extra space compared to other aircraft. To prove the point, he had four mini-suitcases placed side by side in one.

http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/gallery/787-dream-tour/img_3062.jpg

Next, we were welcomed into the cockpit by one of the pilots on the tour. I had the chance to sit in the Captain's seat and play with the touch screens. The whole cockpit is designed around easing the workload of the flight crew, and reducing the amount of paperwork they need to carry around. It also features Head Up Displays to aid in poor visibility. Remarkably, despite the many changes, the conversion for 777 pilots can be done in only 5 days.

http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/gallery/787-dream-tour/img_3086.jpg
http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/gallery/787-dream-tour/img_3076.jpg

Towards the rear of the aircraft, Economy seating was still a cut above anything you'd seen on another airliner, and had IFE screens that rival my TV at home! All the while, above our heads the mood lighting of the aircraft was changing from oranges to blues, simulating the changes of day outside which can help with acclimatising after long flights.

As has been widely reported, the 787 does not even have the option of window shades. Instead, a button beneath each window can lighten or darken the glass as the passenger likes. We saw this demonstrated - it was impressive, but slower to react than I'd expected.

The toilets have been placed so that wheelchair users can pull up to the doorway, and inside have more space than usual.

http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/gallery/787-dream-tour/img_3089.jpg

We also got chance to climb the steep staircase into the rear cabin rest area situated in the ceiling. Up there, six beds can be used, each with their own mood lighting and privacy curtains.

http://www.airportspotting.com/wp-content/gallery/787-dream-tour/img_3096.jpg

Descending the rear stairs back to the hangar floor, we were given commemorative badges and stickers. A fantastic experience, and all I can say is I can't wait to fly the 787 as soon as possible!

Since it was a sunny day, and I had time to spare, I next spent a little while around the perimeter of Heathrow watching the comings and goings. The 787 left the next day to visit Oslo.

My thanks to British Airways
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Thu May 03, 2012 4:01 am

Thanks for sharing!!
 
themit9
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:06 am

RE: British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Thu May 03, 2012 5:26 am

Stunning photos and a great insight into the 787. I imagine that it will be a long time before I get to fly on it. However, it is a shame that it has been setup in an unrealistic way. How many airlines are going to go with the 'cathedral effect' entry?

[Edited 2012-05-02 22:26:54]
 
flywrite
Topic Author
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:56 am

RE: British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Thu May 03, 2012 8:30 am

It's like the shopping malls, gyms and bars that were touted for the A380. Amazing in principle, and they certainly make the aircraft stand out. But the reality is that airlines need to sell seats, and space is at a premium.

I do hope some make use of the entrance area, tho!
 
YYCFlyer
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:30 am

RE: British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Thu May 03, 2012 6:43 pm

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing them with us!
'Opinions Expressed By This Poster Do Not Reflect Those Of My Employer'
 
Pelle
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:58 am

RE: British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Thu May 03, 2012 8:19 pm

Contratulations on being invited, nice pictures too. The electric tinted windows sounds like a really neat effect!
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ghifty
Posts: 885
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RE: British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Thu May 03, 2012 11:34 pm

The British Airways livery looks very different without blue engine nacelles!
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PlaneHunter
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RE: British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Fri May 04, 2012 7:28 am

Nice report about this event, flywrite!

Quoting flywrite (Thread starter):

The toilets have been placed so that wheelchair users can pull up to the doorway, and inside have more space than usual.

All toilets?


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
flywrite
Topic Author
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:56 am

RE: British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Fri May 04, 2012 1:15 pm

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
All toilets?

The rear ones by the doors certainly have. Not sure about forward toilets.
 
aeroperu89
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:05 pm

RE: British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Sun May 06, 2012 3:23 pm

NIce report and great pics! Thanks for sharing this event with us.

The 'Dove' scheme looks so stylish  
 
robso2
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:12 pm

RE: British Airways 787 Hangar Ceremony

Sun May 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Thanks for posting really good report!!!
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