Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Providing New Solutions for Airlines and Passengers!

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Responding to the overwhelming preference of airlines around the world, Boeing Commercial Airlines has focused its new airplane product development efforts on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a super-efficient airplane. An international team of top aerospace companies is developing the airplane, led by Boeing at its Everett facility near Seattle, Washington.

Unparalleled Performance:

The 787-8 Dreamliner and 787-9 airplanes will carry 223-259 passengers in tri-class configurations on routes of 8,500 and 8,300 nautical miles (15,700 and 15,400 kilometers) respectively. A third 787 family member, the 787-3 Dreamliner, will accommodate nearly 296 passengers in a two-class configuration and be optimized for routes of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km).

In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 will provide airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance. The airplane will use 20 percent less fuel for comparable missions than any similarly sized airplane. It will also travel at speeds similar to today’s fastest wide bodies, Mach 0.85. Airlines will enjoy approximately 45 percent more cargo revenue capacity.

Passengers will also see improvements with the new airplane, from an interior environment with higher humidity to increased comfort and convenience with a lower cabin altitude and the largest windows in the industry. Additionally, the aircraft will have wider seats and aisles.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Advanced Technology:

The key to this exceptional performance is a suite of new technologies being developed by Boeing and its international technology development team.

Boeing has announced that the majority of the primary structure, including the fuselage and wing on the 787, will be made of composite materials.

The 787 basically utilizes the technology proposed for the Sonic Cruiser in a more conventional airframe configuration. Boeing claims are that the 787 will be up to 20% more fuel-efficient than comparable aircraft. This efficiency improvement will come primarily from the General Electric and Rolls-Royce engines; the airframe weight saving being due to high usage of composite materials will provide the rest. The 787 will also have advanced systems; for example, signals will be carried around the aircraft using a version of Ethernet, and the brakes will be electrically rather than hydraulically controlled, pushing towards the industry goal of a more electric aircraft.

For the first time in commercial aviation, both engine types will have a standard interface with the aircraft, allowing any 787 to be fitted with either a General Electric or Rolls-Royce engine at any point in time. Engine interchangeability makes the 787 a far more flexible asset to airlines, allowing them to change from one manufacturer’s engine to the other’s in light of future engine developments, which conform more closely to their operating profile. The engine market for the 787 is estimated to be $40 billion over the next 25 years.

An open architecture will be at the heart of the 787’s systems, which will be more simplified than today’s airplanes but offer increased functionality. For example, the team is looking at incorporating health-monitoring systems that will allow the airplane to self-monitor and report maintenance requirements to ground-based computer systems.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Another improvement in efficiency will come in the way the airplane is designed and built. New technologies and processes are in development to help Boeing and its supplier partners achieve unprecedented levels of performance at every phase of the program.

Continuing Progress:

Boeing continues to define the new airplane and is currently working on a broad range of possibilities. Ongoing work with the airlines will help decide specific product characteristics.

The Boeing board of directors granted authority to offer the airplane for sale in late 2003. Program launch occurred in April 2004 with a record order from All-Nippon Airways. Air New Zealand became a launch customer with its order in May/June 2004. Blue Panorama and First Choice Airways became the first European 787 Dreamliner customers in July 2004. In October 2004, Primaris Airlines became the first U.S. 787 Dreamliner customer. JAL, Continental Airlines and Vietnam Airlines joined the 787 launch customer team in December 2004. In January 2005, six Chinese carriers; Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Shanghai Airlines and Xiamen Airlines all signed an agreement for the purchase of 60, 787’s. Ethiopian Airlines became the first Africa-based operator to choose the Dreamliner in February 2005. Icelandair also joined the 787 launch customer team in February 2005.

Russia’s Aeroflot Airlines reportedly wants to buy 22 to 28 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in a deal that could be worth $2.5 billion. Boeing also is working on some other major potential sales deals. Singapore Airlines us trying to decide whether to sign a major deal with Boeing or Airbus. Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia says Boeing’s bet that the 787 Dreamliner would be a success is paying off. Airbus bet on the A-380 Superjumbo, but Boeing is racking up more orders in the widebody market among the 747, 777 and the new 787.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing 787 Dreamliner production will begin in 2006. First flight is expected in 2007 with certification, delivery and entry into service occurring in 2008.

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