Our first approach was a normal, all-engine, full 30-deg. flap maneuver that was hand-flown using the HUD and auto-throttles. Aircraft weight was 340,300 lb. Bryan bugged the target airspeed at 142 kt., 5 kt. above Vref. The aircraft was very stable, yet responsive to control inputs. It was easy to stay on localizer and glideslope via the HUD's precision guidance. Over the touchdown zone and 30 ft. above the runway, we flared slightly and touched down gently.
Bryan retracted the flaps to 5 deg., adjusted pitch trim and we advanced thrust for the go-around. On the downwind leg, he pulled back the right throttle to idle to simulate an engine failure. The P-Beta function stabilized the aircraft in yaw and roll. The left auto throttle adjusted the thrust as needed.
Based on a landing weight of 339,600 lb. and using Flaps 20 deg., Bryan set 146 KIAS as the target speed. The left auto throttle maintained that speed within 1-2 kt.
At ILS minimums, we executed a go-around. Bryan instructed me to leave my feet on the floor and allow the P-Beta system to counter the thrust asymmetry. The aircraft lost none of its composure during the maneuver, but there was noticeable side slip to the right caused by the left engine's higher thrust output.
We continued the simulated one-engine-inoperative abnormality for our final landing at Moses Lake. Using Flaps 20 deg. and based on a landing weight of 337,600 lb., Vref was 140 KIAS and the target airspeed was 145 KIAS.
Touchdown was smooth, but I floated a little too long in ground effect. I relaxed prematurely. Make a note. You must fly the nosewheel down to the runway, or you can be embarrassed by an audible thump during the derotation.
The 787 is indeed the nicest handling and most docile handling Boeing jetliner I've yet flown. Enhancements to the company's FBW flight-control system increase safety margins and make the aircraft impressively pleasant to hand fly.
The aircraft can be flown with equal ability from either seat because the left and right sides have the same access to displays, controls and tools, including left and right HUDs, EFBs and steering tillers. Situational awareness and crew resource management are top notch because of the moving and interconnected control yokes and rudder pedals, along with the back-driven throttles and speed brake handle.
Admittedly, the aircraft entered service three years later than planned. But, judging on performance, it was worth the wait.
Fly along with Aviation Week Editor Fred George as he tries out the 787's advanced features: watch a brief video of his flight in the digital edition of AW&ST on leading tablets and smartphones, or view the full-length video on the 787 Pilot Report Special Topic page at AviationWeek.com