Boeing Test Flights


Why does B do all these test flights? I have PAE, BFI, and SEA on my arpt lists and I see every day B doing test flights. Is it for the 787? That’s a lot of money they’re using. Esp. when the flights are 8 hr long. BOE89
seems to be doing some interesting flight patterns. Are they training test pilots?
(By the way, I love (as in SW) the rolling eyes smilie!) :unamused: [romantic voice]It’s so emotional. [/romantic voice] But I thought we were only allowed one emotion every 40 seconds?


You gotta test 'em before you deliver 'em. They deliver a lot, so one would assume that they test a lot. Plus, those guys are always trying out new “toys” with their a/c. They didn’t get to be the giant that they are without A LOT of trial & error. I’m sure there are other reasons that we would probably never think of as well.:smiley:


Why are the “test” words in orange? Is it because I’ve used “test” too much?


Man, they should go apply at a major airline. Left 40 minutes late, got in 46 minutes early- that’s what I call performance!


?? I don’t see the word “test” in orange.


BOE89 (737) seems to have done a regular test flight pattern and then landed at Victoria in Canada. Most unusual, any suggestions ? … /KBFI/CYYJ


Because you used search to find the post and used the term “TEST” in the search?

(If words were highlighted because of over use Weird Flight Path would be in 70 point flashing red letters).


I blame Canadian Espionage


Not so unusual if you realize that many airlines take delivery of their aircraft in Canada for tax purposes. They don’t have to pay Washington state sales tax on the aircraft if it isn’t delivered in Washington.



That particular piece of WA state law was repealed many years ago; the Canadian ‘loophole’ is not necessary any more. Abbotsford was the airport of choice in any case, nothing was ever delivered via YYJ to my knowledge.

It’s on its way back to BFI now.



Thanks for the information. I heard it being used just a couple of years ago - do you have any further information on about when it was repealed?


I see test flights almost every day. They goto MWH alot and then zip through here (YKM) for a couple of approaches then back to Seattle. The aircraft are usually green except the rudder.

In most cases they do one test flight then take them back for paint and delivery. I have a friend who works in the test dept and said occasionally a plane needs a second test or more but rarely. They also bring in customer planes for severe problem diagnosis or in some cases borrow a customer plane for testing of a problem affecting the whole model fleet. If they develop a mod, they have to go out and test the mod in all phases of flight and different environments.

About two years ago (8/04) Dick Karl wrote some great articles about Southwest’s delivery flights. He said that since SWA receives so many new aircraft and they have a rep at the factory, they skip the traditional acceptance flight in lieu of a full tank of gas.


I don’t remember when it was either but it was not chance that Boeing relocated their HQ. That was a direct slap in the face of the governor and legislature.


Going strictly from (declining) memory, I’d say early-mid 1990s. You could find out by searching Washington State law or tracking delivery history on “spotter”-type sites; I can’t be bothered to do either.

When I worked the Vancouver area, these tax-dodge deliveries were common and then they stopped suddenly. I haven’t been there for about 15 years which is why I’m guessing at the date.

(Incidentally Boeing also got a fat B&O tax exemption in order to build the 787 at PAE).



Got an email from one of the locals. The 737 was an RAAF “Wedgetail” AWACS participating in the Trident Fury exercise He expects it back again but doesn’t know why it’s operating out of BFI (support ?).


There are always AWACS and other odd military mod Boeings down at the south west end of BFI, just south of the Museum of Flight.


Abbotsford is still used for “tax dodging” on some delivery flights. Hainan Airlines of China is a favourite, as is Copa of Panama. Some of the BBJs go through there too.



You sure that’s for tax purposes, Rob ? Cascade Aerospace do outsourced finishing at YXX on 737s. I was fairly sure the tax thing was no longer a factor, but I could well be wrong - I’m not a bean counter 8)


It might be as simple as sending new aircraft up there for paint.


Another interesting one: … /KDAL/KDAL

A 9+ hour round trip seems a bit excessive for just a flight test :question: