Sunday, 29 April 2012

787 Dreamliner Derby Flyover!

No great adventures this week, blog fans.  I'm afraid the weather has just stunk to put it bluntly.  Cold, windy and rainy for the last 2 weeks.  Yesterday had its moments but we were busy running errands (life gets in the way some times) but today was all of 5C (41F) and wet, wet, wet.  Yuck.  This was the weather they've been talking about as typical I guess.  We've had our moments this past year but I don't think we've seen 2 weeks of it like we have here lately.

Anyway . . .  on Friday there was to be a great event.  The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was celebrating 6 months in service with a flyover of Derby and the Rolls-Royce facilities.  The 787 is powered by the Trent 1000 which is the engine program I personally work on.  Some other engine company also supplies engines for the 787, but Rolls-Royce was FIRST with the launch customer of ANA (Air Nippon Airways) in Japan.  What an opportunity to get to see it fly over head!

The flyover was scheduled for 9 am and we were asked to start assembling by the statue of Mr. Royce himself at 8:45.  Being the dutiful employee that I am, I did as I was told.

Hmm.  Notice the brollies (umbrellas) to my right?  That's right, it was raining.  Nothing too heavy but enough to get drenched if you stayed out awhile.  Fortunately, I had my big umbrella at work (I keep one at the office and one in the car -- you never know).

More umbrellas to my left as well.  Not only was it raining, but the plane was late (there's an easy joke there for those that work on the program).  I think they were hoping for a break in the weather.  Finally, about 9:35 it flew over . . . .

See it?  Look hard.  Nope?  Me either.  We heard it fly by (twice) and you could actually see a quick shadow on the first pass but it was over in a blink -- no picture.  It was quiet at least -- world class noise technology!  It was pretty low, but the clouds were lower.  They tried.

From our inter-company website:

Derby fails to see Dreamliner as weather puts dampener on flyover
27 April 2012
Despite the Boeing 787 Dreamliner making two attempts to find a break in the cloud as it circled above Derby, UK the British weather intervened with rain and low cloud calling a halt to the proceedings.

Courageous employees [that's me] battled the elements to try to witness the 787 flyby in recognition of all involved in the highly successful production of the Trent 1000, but left disappointed as cloud cover masked Boeing's salute.

Disappointed for sure, but I did get a chuckle out of it.  Somehow fitting in the grand scheme of things.

We'll just have to use our imagination!

I didn't let that sack our weekend (or the day for that matter).  We had a wonderful Saturday evening at our friends the Connells.  I meant to bring my camera, but forgot.  Andrea was kind enough to let me use her iPhone (which I'm barely qualified to use).  They have a to-die-for quintessential English countryside view.  This is from their front porch.   My photography skills do not do it justice. Sheep, river, valley, & hills along with a supremely manicured garden (lawn).  What more could you want?  

Panning a little to the right and trying to capture the setting sun (yes, we saw the sun!).  Outstanding view.  Thanks Derek, Andrea and Annabel!

Given that today was absolutely rotten outside (rubbish!), we did manage to get out to the movies to see Hunger Games.  We enjoyed it; both those that have read it (girls) and those that haven't (boys).  Maybe I'll add it to the list.

Off to the Lake District next weekend.  Please, please, please don't rain the entire time.  Have a good week.

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