Help me find the Dreamlifter!
September 27, 2014 8:55 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to find out when a Boeing Dreamlifter will be landing at Paine Field more than a few hours in advance?

A few weeks ago, I was eating frozen yogurt with the kids at a store in the landing path of Paine Field outside Everett. Amazingly, while we were eating, we caught a glimpse of a unicorn -- one of the four Dreamlifters flew in. My kids loved it and want to see it again... and frankly, so do I!

I found this site that shows when the plane has registered a flight plan, but it looks like 1) that gives little to no lead time (day of), and 2) doesn't seem to have complete information (I don't see the flight we saw landing on the afternoon of 9/14 in the archives).

Is there any way to know with some confidence and lead time when one of these majestic beasts is coming in again? I don't expect to know weeks in advance, but ideally I'd be able to say "hey honey, the Dreamlifter is flying in this weekend", and then day-of look up what time it should be arriving...?
posted by rouftop to Travel & Transportation around Everett, WA (6 answers total)
Try the Info email at the "Future of Flight Aviation Center," which is the museum operated at the factory in Everett. (via)

Whatever signup that blog did at flightaware, you should do too-- you'll get a more rapid notification, and you might be able to use email filters and whatnot to get a text alert for updates. It looks like some of the entries do have planned landing times-- one of them planned on landing at 6:05 tonight, in fact.

Also, don't know how old your kids are (must be 4 feet tall, no babes in arms), but if they're game for the tour, please take it-- it's very cool-- I thought I had been in big buildings before that tour, but I learned on the tour that I hadn't.

You also might try plotting out some of those aircraft as recorded on the blog or in flightaware-- they may have regular schedules.

Happy planespotting!
posted by Sunburnt at 9:13 PM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Check out If it is one a regular route, you can figure out when they use the dreamlifter (and when not).

ETA: just realized your link linked through to flightaware. Still, do look up historical data for that route on flightaware: usually you can spot the pattern.
posted by troytroy at 1:26 AM on September 28, 2014

I was in Charleston a few weeks ago and happened to spot one of these puppies overhead - what a plane!

If I were you I'd call or email the tour office at Everett and ask for their help. If they can't tell you when these things regularly land, they should be able to tell you who can. Good luck!
posted by stinkfoot at 12:14 PM on September 28, 2014

Shoot I'm a fool - Sunburnt already gave you my sweet advice! I guess I just wanted to brag about seeing one, anyway.
posted by stinkfoot at 12:17 PM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Search the forums. I bet those guys are all over this.

I did the same for spotting the A380 in Atlanta, which is obviously a lot easier since it's a regularly scheduled flight ...
posted by intermod at 9:44 PM on September 28, 2014

type the N-number for the dreamlifters into google. you can get these through flightaware will appear at the top of the list with a link that lets you see where these aircraft have last been seen flying. check this once per day. when one gets close, you will see the flightplan show it's going to your airport.

it's a bit of work, yes. but it works.
posted by krautland at 3:17 AM on September 29, 2014

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