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Phoenix public relations firm creates new Boeing 787 virtual view

Boeing’s new 787 jets suffered a public relations nightmare earlier this year after the planes' batteries caught fire. A Phoenix company has developed a tool to help Boeing overcome its bad publicity.

Shortly after the 787s began flying in January,  every one of them was grounded worldwide.

One lithium ion battery caught fire on a plane on the ground, another began smoldering in flight. After the Federal Aviation Administration clearance, flights resumed in April.

Here in Phoenix, Boeing’s public relations firm had been working on a marketing tool that would give people a virtual view of any 787 in the world whether it was over the Sahara or crossing the Pacific. Matt Mason is with R & R Partners.

"Boeing had this amazing product that had these battery issues so, although we were in the planning stages prior to that to build this tool, it certainly got accelerated. Even more reason to really prove to people that the plane is out there and flying again," Mason said.


The team leader here in Phoenix is Ben Ursu. He described some of the technology  that went into the project.

"(We were) using a Deboor recursive equation around the statistical model," Ursu said.

Let me try to translate that for you. Ursu is saying his team took millions of bits of information and combined them with other programs to develop a 360 degree view of the plane in flight.

"Even looking at the average decline of the flight path to know how much to tilt the airplane a little bit just to give it that little bit of a realistic view," Ursu said.

Flight Tracker will even provide the food menu of any 787 flight.

The program is being unveiled today at the Paris Air Show where Boeing is showcasing the 787.