Qantas’s fourth Boeing 787-9 has emerged from the paintshop and completed its first test flights as the clock counts down to the arrival of the aircraft with an Indigenous-inspired livery at a special welcome ceremony at Alice Springs in early March.
The aircraft, VH-ZND, broke cover at Boeing’s Everett facility on Thursday morning (US time) before completing a 90-minute flight to Moses Lake, according to flight tracking website Flightaware.
After about 15 minutes on the ground, the 787-9 departed Moses Lake for a 40-minute return journey to Everett.
The new livery is based on a work by the late Northern Territory artist and senior Anmatyerre woman, Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Her 1991 painting, Yam Dreaming has been adapted for the aircraft by Indigenous-owned design studio Balarinji.
The aircraft, which will be named Emily Kame Kngwarreye, will be ferried from Everett nonstop to Alice Springs for a special welcome event on March 2.
Twitter user @mattcawby also posted a photo of the aircraft on Twitter
Qantas 787-9 VH-ZND B1 flight from Everett pic.twitter.com/HwCh2LNE1n
— Paine Airport (@mattcawby) February 15, 2018
As did @airportwebcams
LIVE: On-order @QANTAS Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VH-ZND in 'Yam Dreaming' special livery is airborne on its first test flight. Track BOE272 to Moses Lake & back to Everett: https://t.co/ceOoimjql3 | https://t.co/CXiqZbCOUt pic.twitter.com/g5DuMv2n74
— Airport Webcams (@AirportWebcams) February 15, 2018
The PWERLE Aboriginal Art Gallery posted a video of the aircraft on Instagram.
What a history making moment | A @qantas / @boeing aircraft in honour of our Great Aunty Emily Kame Kngwarreye ✨ Repost via. @balarinji Balarinji welcomes their fifth aircraft design in the Qantas-Balarinji flying art series, Emily Kame Kngwarreye 787 Dreamliner. Balarinji created the fuselage design based on the internationally renowned artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s 1991 painting ‘Yam Dreaming’. A Qantas-Balarinji art aircraft typically takes two years from concept to launch. Over that time, Balarinji works with Qantas Engineering, Boeing and Boeing’s design agency, Teague, to take a 2-D vision into 3-D renders and eventually onto the airport fuselage in the Boeing paint facility in Seattle, USA. Balarinji deconstructs an original painting and reforms it as a design that works around a fuselage, in a way that responds to the viewer from all angles – from the ground, from an air bridge, in the sky. Scale, colour, distribution of motifs and compatibility with Qantas branding and safety requirements are carefully considered. Congratulations to everyone involved, what an achievement and proud moment! Our family are all incredibly speechless and in love with this project 🙏🏽 #PwerleGallery #Pwerle #EmilyKameKngwarreye #EmilyKngwarreye #Aboriginal #AboriginalArt #Qantas #Plane #Indigenous #Utopia #Family #Australia #FlyingArtSeries