Partner Kal Benuska, SE recently travelled to Japan to oversee the Flight of Dreams, a large-scale installation featuring the first Boeing 787 airline inside Central Japan International Airport’s (Centrair) main terminal. Thirty-five percent of the Boeing 787’s components are made by Japanese suppliers and then shipped to the US for final assembly. In July 2015, Boeing donated the first-ever built 787 – the ZA001 – after it served its role as a flight test airplane.
Considered a home-coming for the plane, Japanese officials determined the plane should be permanently restored in Centrair as a static display. In addition to the challenges of displaying an “artifact” that cannot be taken apart, the Flight of Dreams posed a handful of challenges:
• Because of ZA001’s use as a test flight airplane, it has no interiors, so the engineering has to accommodate a different weight and center of gravity compared to commercial 787’s.
• At the time of donation, the electrical and systems of the aircraft were decommissioned. Without power, the plane could only be moved with the help of a towing vehicle, complicating it’s move into the final location.
Using jacks, the plane is now affixed to pedestals under each of the three landing gears. Construction of exhibits, restaurants and amenity areas are finalizing around it, all to be complete this year.