Amarillo Winds Good For Something. Boeing Testing Airplane Here.
On Monday, I was out at my son's baseball practice. I know, shocker right? Here's the thing. As the boys were warming up their arms, I looked up at the sky and truthfully became a little panicked.
Right above us was a gigantic airplane. I mean, it seemed much larger than a usual passenger aircraft, but it also didn't appear to have any military markings. I was instantly confused.
The bigger question is, why was I panicked? Well, this plane appeared to be traveling a LOT lower than usual. We were a solid distance away from the airport as we were practicing off of I-27 near McCormick Rd, so not exactly close to Rick Husband International Airport.
As I'm watching this plane, it's making this very hard right turn in the air. I couldn't tell if they had the plane under control or if they were about to go down. It was a pretty windy day, even by Amarillo standards.
I look over at a parent of one of the other kids on the team and say, "that thing is pretty low. It's kind of freaky". They concurred. It appears I now have the answer as to what I saw.
Boeing corporate is in town because they are in the midst of testing a new passenger airplane, and they're taking advantage of the Amarillo wind. The new plane is called the Boeing 777X, and it's a monster. Checking in at 251 feet and 9 inches, it will seat up to 426 passengers. That's a lot of people on one plane.
Before these planes can ever be put into service, they have to go through rigorous testing, and checking how it does in different types of wind is one of them. The combination of the long runways at our airport as well as the ridiculous winds we have, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up for Boeing.
Testing is going on through Wednesday this week, and as I type this article, I can actually hear an airplane flying overhead. It's loud, which makes me wonder if it's the 777X. So don't panic like I did if you see it. In fact, quite the opposite. Take a picture or video, because we're seeing something before a lot of the world.