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Simple Characters, Complex Character

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The registration an aircraft wears often tells a story much larger than that a simple series of letters and numbers. John Travolta's world touring 707 wears N707JT along with classic QANTAS colors. The Nike Corporate G-V is cleverly adorned with N1KE. The European equivalent is found in 5 letters, the A380 wore special temporary registrations F-WXXL and F-WWOW to represent the sheer size and stature of the Airbus Superjumbo. The 747 prototype still wears N7470 and the 777 prototype wore N7771.

Which brings me to the Dreamliner. It's not known what registration the first 787 will wear, but there are some ideas out there as to what it may end up being.

There has been talk of the tail bearing N787DL (DL for Dreamliner), N78781 and N7871. However, after some research, one particular registration stands out above the rest as a likely candidate. Not to mention some interesting clues to go along with it. When searching for N787BA on Google, there is not a single result. However, there is one very big clue. Google automatically searches the FAA registration database when an N-number is the search term.

So what does the FAA tell us about N787BA?

N787BA
Reserved N-Number
Type Reservation Fee Paid
Mode S Code 52525241
Reserved Date 11/21/2001
Renewal Date 10/16/2006
Purge Date 12/21/2007
Pending Number Change None
Data Change Authorized None
Reserving Party Name BOEING COMPANY
Street 2601 LIBERTY PKWY
City MIDWEST CITY
State OKLAHOMA
Zip Code 73110-2855
County OKLAHOMA
Country UNITED STATES

The first massive clue here is the fact that the previously unused registration is being held by Boeing itself. The second clue is the fact that Midwest City, OK is where the FAA bases both it's Airman Certification branch and Aircraft Registration department.

If I were a betting man, I would say Dreamliner One will wear N787BA.

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