Monday, September 19, 2016

Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner ZK-NZI

Always an exciting time for planespotters and aviation enthusiasts at Rockhampton when the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) come to town for the annual 'Exercise Wallaby' military exercise as opportunities are not only ripe to photograph military hardware including fighter jets, but large cargo and passenger airliners that ferry equipment and personnel between Singapore and the beef capital.

Kicking-off the first wave of large chartered passenger aircraft transporting SAF personnel to Central Queensland was the arrival of Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner ZK-NZI and Qantas Airways Airbus A330-200 VH-EBV during the evening on Saturday, September 17 (more about this in another post).

After offloading the troops and their belongings, both aircraft returned to Changi Intl Airport, Singapore, where they took onboard more Singapore Armed Forces personnel for the trip to Rockhampton. The second visit to the beef capital saw ZK-NZI touch down shortly after midday on Sunday, September 18, followed by VH-EBV later that evening.

Despite wet conditions and the constant challenge to maintain a dry camera lens, it remained a pleasure to photograph (as featured) the Air New Zealand Dreamliner during it's second visit to Rockhampton in as many days.

Of interest, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a twin-engine, widebody, long-range airliner that is pioneering the use of composite material as the primary material in the construction of it's airframe. Designed to replace the Boeing 767, the Boeing 787 is reportedly upto 20% more fuel efficient than it's intended predecessor, and features a mostly electrical flight system, swept wingtips and noise reducing chevrons on the engine nacelles.

Air New Zealand currently has eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in service with four additional aircraft on order. It is reported the 'on order' Dreamliners will replace three remaining Boeing 767-300ER's still in operation with the airline in 2017.