British Airways flew its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft over the Rolls-Royce site in Derby this morning as a 'thank you' to employees who worked on the Trent 1000 engines that power the aircraft.
The flyover took place as the airline prepares the aircraft to enter passenger service. The airline is also preparing the first of its new Airbus A380 aircraft for service, powered by Rolls-Royce.
British Airways' first Boeing 787 pilot, Senior First Officer Mitch Preston, said: "We are delighted to have been able to fly over the Rolls-Royce site in Derbyshire to express our gratitude to everyone for helping to power one of the newest and most technologically advanced aircraft in British Airways' fleet. The flight is part of our programme to prepare our Boeing 787 Dreamliners for long-haul operations, which begin with flights to Toronto from September 1."
John Griffiths, Rolls-Royce, Trent 1000 Programme Director, said: "It meant a lot to us that our valued customer, British Airways, chose to fly its Dreamliner over our site. Today's flypast was the ultimate way to thank Rolls-Royce employees for the effort they have put into making the Trent 1000 such a success."
The Trent 1000 is the quietest and most efficient engine option for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The engine, the first to power the 787 into service in 2011, has delivered a dispatch reliability of better than 99.9%.
The event marked another milestone in a relationship that dates back to 1919 when Rolls-Royce delivered an Eagle engine to a British Airways forerunner company that launched the world's first air service between London and Paris.
To mark the aviation heritage of both companies, the British Airways Dreamliner aircraft was accompanied on its flight by a Spitfire owned by Rolls-Royce.
British Airways will operate a fleet of 24 Trent 1000 powered Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 12 Trent 900 powered Airbus A380s. The airline's parent company has also ordered 18 firm and 18 option Rolls-Royce Trent XWB powered Airbus A350 XWB aircraft for British Airways operations.