But on this quiet Sunday afternoon, months before any of this was announced, none of that mattered. The final assembly line was crammed with aircraft, and the future seemed, if not limitless, at least somewhat realistic. And this perfectly pristine aircraft awaited its first date with the sky.
We can't always divine the future, but we most certainly can appreciate the present.
One more thing: This particular plane ended up in New Zealand, where it's part of Massey University's School of Aviation fleet. Cool school.
Make that two: This is our final entry in support of the "shiny and new" Thematic theme. There's still time to share yours - just click here. New theme, "in rough shape", goes live tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.