Officials react to 787 maiden flight

EVERETT — Local and state officials reacted with equal parts excitement and pride as Boeing's 787 Dreamliner took part in its inaugural flight Tuesday, Dec. 15.

The airplane took off from Everett's Paine Field at approximately 10:30 a.m. and landed just after 1:30 p.m.

Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall said that the flight was good news for area residents.

"It's just great to start the new year out on a positive not for all the citizens of Snohomish County and all the people that work for Boeing and all their subsidiaries that work in Marysville," Kendall said. "We hope it continues to move forward smoothly."

Arlington City Councilman Chris Raezer was on hand at Boeing's Everett facility for the 787's flight.

Raezer said he arrived in Everett at about 4:30 a.m.

"It was cold and freezing, but everybody was in a good mood," Raezer said. "The scheduled time was 10 a.m., and when it got here nobody was willing to walk away despite the weather."

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson was also on hand in Everett.

"Today's first flight of the 787 is a major milestone for Boeing, its workers and our community," Stephanson said. "It has taken a lot of hard work to make today possible. Today's flight is a tremendous gift, and it takes us enthusiastically into 2010. We are eager for flight testing to conclude and delivery to being to customers around the world."

United States Rep. Rick Larsen said that the test has been a long time coming.

"This test flight means we are finally at the end-game for getting the 787 certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, and getting the 840 planes that have been ordered out to Boeing's customers," Larsen said in a statement.

Larsen added that the best aerospace workers in the world had again risen to the challenge, and that the 787 program was important because it brings thousands of jobs to the region.

United States Sen. Maria Cantwell said in a statement that the new 787 is a game-changer.

"It marks a new level of technological excellence by combining the world's best jet fuel efficiency with lower emissions, a more comfortable passenger experience and a quieter environment for airport communities," Cantwell said.

The airplane is made of lightweight composite materials, and uses 20 percent less fuel that comparable aircrafts, according to Boeing.

The Washington Aerospace Partnership also congratulated Boeing for its new airplane in a statement.

"We're excited to see the 787 take tot he skies and believe this will once again shine a spotlight on the expertise, innovations and strength of Boeing and its unique partnership with the state of Washington," said Tayloe Washburn, business leader and co-chair of the partnership.

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