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Right now, a Dreamliner is flying a rather strange path over the USA (see below). The plane took off from Boeing Field airport near Seattle, and is 'drawing' a virtual copy of itself on the map of the USA before flying back home.

As flight trackers are a relatively recent phenomenon, I was wondering: is this the first time something like this ever happens, or is this a tradition in aviation which I'm not aware of?

enter image description here


Permalink for the flight.

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It's not the first time they do it. Back in 2012 they wrote 787 and the Boeing logo:

enter image description here

Planes have been drawn before by others as well.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't have a picture, but Boeing has also flown a "12" over Washington state. This was a reference to the fans of the local football team, the Seattle Seahawks. $\endgroup$ – Owen Aug 3 '17 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like they (Boeing) have gone from 8-bit graphics to 32-bit in the meantime, too! $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Aug 4 '17 at 17:32
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One of the first examples I recall of this sort of thing was when a Gulfstream aircraft wrote "GV" over the US in 2007:

Flight track of GV

One could say that this has been a "tradition" for at least 10 years now.

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It turns out Boeing has done this earlier this year as well; on February 11th, a 737 MAX painted the letters M A X over the North-Western states:

enter image description here

(source: Boeing's Twitter account)

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Probably best to note that it's not really "promotional" -- Boeing had to do an 18 hour endurance test of the Trent 1000 TEN engines so they were going to be up there flying around anyways. So why not have some fun with it?

When those pictures came out it wasn't in a Boeing press release, it was some people who noticed by watching FlightRadar24 and other sites :)

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