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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Flight of fancy, 787 style

Most of the time, when a plane takes off and lands, that's not news. It's only when it fails to take off or land that we get news.

Today's an exception, however, because Boeing's newest plane design, the 787 Dreamliner, took off and landed for the first time. Sure, it was two years late, but at least they didn't lose anyone's luggage.

Various Washington politicos marked the event with official statements of best wishes, which can be found inside the blog. One thing you might notice is the emphasis on Washington workers doing a great job in building the opposed to say, South Carolina workers which Boeing is going to be using for its second assembly line.

But hey, after Washington workers figure out how to get it flying, South Carolina workers can just follow their instructions, right?

Comments from notables inside:

Sen. Maria Cantwell:
Today’s maiden flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner 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. 
“I want to offer a special congratulations to Boeing’s exceptionally productive and skilled work force in Washington state who made this historic first flight a reality.  Watching all their hard work take flight today is truly evidence that American workers can compete and win to build the best products in the world. 
“The Dreamliner adds to the long list of breakthrough Boeing aircraft created in Washington, including the 707, 747 and the 777, which revolutionized commercial air travel. Thanks to composite material, the 787 will be the world’s most efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft, helping both the consumer as well as the environment.”

Sen. Patty Murray:
“I want to congratulate all of the dedicated Washington state workers who have spent so many years making today’s historic flight a reality. From the engineers who created this groundbreaking design, to the machinists who put this plane together piece by piece, everyone has had a hand in writing this new chapter in our state’s proud history of technological leadership and innovation. As today proves, when it comes to our state’s workers, the sky is not only the limit, it’s often the destination.”

Gov. Chris Gregoire (who heard the news all the way in Copenhagen):
"Congratulations to the men and women of the Boeing Company on this historic day. The graceful takeoff of the 787 on its maiden voyage is a testament to the vision of the company's leadership, the ingenuity of its engineers, and the skill of its machinists. I am also looking forward to maiden flights of the 747-8 and hopefully the Air Force's next mid-air refueling tanker to build on the success of this great day. The climate change summit in Copenhagen has highlighted for me the need to emphasize new technologies in the future that improve energy efficiency, and the new 787 is just such a plane.”

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.