For The Frequent Flyers: Boeing's 'Greener ' 787 Dreamliner


    The 787 Dreamliner from Boeing was unveiled last night at the company's Everett plant, near Seattle, U.S.

    The company claim the airliner is greener and sleeker than the Airbus 'superjambo'

    The Dreamliner boasts between 210 and 350 seats

    A battle for the skies broke out last night as aircraft giant Boeing unveiled the first of a new generation of hi-tech passenger super-jets that aim to take the stress out of air travel.

    The sleek, swooping-winged 787 'Dreamliner' promises quieter and "greener" journeys that also leave passengers arriving more refreshed thanks to better air quality, bigger but dimmable windows (marking the end of the traditional shutter), wider seats, reduced turbulence that cuts air-sickness, and interior lighting that simulates changes in the day to reduce jet-lag.

    But the launching of the 787 'Dreamliner' - whose hi-tech lightweight construction means it burns 20 per cent less fuel than a conventional plane and therefore produces less pollution - marks the start of a "little and large" battle with Europe's Airbus A380 superjumbo: with both camps betting the house on two diametrically opposing views of how passengers will want to travel in future.
    Europe's Airbus believes the future lies in its massive super-jumbo A380 - capable of carrying more than 800 passengers flying between major 'hub' airports - like London's Heathrow, Frankfurt, New York's JFK and Los Angeles - where many will have to change to connecting flights to get to their final destination.

    But U.S. rival Boeing believes that with smaller, nimbler long-distance planes like its 210 to 330-seater 787 Dreamliner, passengers will be able to go directly or 'point to point' from smaller airports - missing out on the problems that often beset hub airports like Heathrow - such as lost transport baggage. The 787 is the world's first commercial jetliner whose lightweight fuselage is spun mainly from carbon-fibre composites - baked in an enormous oven and then cut like cloth. It is lighter and sturdier than aluminium saving 20 per cent on fuel costs because of lower weight and state-of-the-art engines.

    The benefit for passengers is that composite materials do not rust or fatigue, so air in the cabin can be more humid and the windows larger.
    • Windows are the largest on any present day aircraft - 18 and a half inches high and 11 inches wide - giving passengers in any seat a view to the horizon. They can dimmed - using electro-chromic window shades (similar to some dimming sunglasses) which removes the need for physical pull-down shades.
    • Softer lighting automatically adjusts with the time of day or night to create a 'simulated sky' and help reduce jet-lag.
    • It has a fuselage 15 inches wider than other mid-sized jets, and therefore wider twin-aisles and seats. In economy the 8-abreast seats are each 18 and a half inches wide, or 1 and a half inches wider than normal. Even at nine-abreast it's equivalent to a 747 jumbo jet.
    • Cabin air is healthier because of increased humidity and better filters - reducing throat irritations and dryness by 50 per cent. Planes cruise at around 40,000ft. By increasing the cabin pressure to make it the equivalent of 6,000ft - about the same as an Austrian ski resort - makes for a more comfortable flight. Most airliners currently pressurise to 8,000ft - the more rarified air of Mexico City.
    • Turbulence is reduced thanks to sensors in the nose which tweak the controls to compensate and mean a smoother ride. • Noise is reduced thanks to changes to the engine-ducts that mean it is quieter inside the cabin

    Last night, in a ceremony broadcast worldwide by TV and on the internet, with parties also in Britain, battle commenced in earnest as the first 787 off the production line was launched with great hullabaloo in Seattle.
    Boeing has 677 firm orders for its 787 - making it the fastest selling commercial aeroplane in history.
    This includes 15 firm orders from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic, with an option to buy 20 more. British Airways has so far not committed itself and is holding a "beauty parade" to assess which planes it will order.
    The mid-sized Boeing 787 has seating for 210 to 330 people in its three planned models, depending how airlines decide to allocate first, business and economy classes.
    Costing between £73 million to £100 million, has attracted more than £50 billion worth of orders and will fly for the first time in August or September, when its airborne tests begin.

    The first of four variants - the 787-8 - will seat between 210 and 250 people. It will have a range of 8,800 to 9,420 miles and fly at 570 mph at cruising altitudes, similar to a 747 jumbo. It enters service in May 2008.
    About a quarter of the content of the plane is sourced from the UK - including the option of Rolls-Royce engines - securing thousands of British jobs. Dreamliner project chief Mike Bair was confident that his 787 would not be hit with the delays that have plagued the rival Airbus's A380 superjumbo - and said this was down to the internal wiring. He said the A380 has some 350 miles of wiring compared to 60 miles in the 787.
  2. Very interesting, thanks!!

    So will this also be a jet that can fly from the US to Europe?? That would be great :biggrin: I'd love to fly on this plane!! If not, hopefully Lufthansa will buy some of these for their within-Europe flights!
  3. yay, thanks for posting this! can't wait to fly in one of those!

    i am so happy they were able to do something about the air quality, because that always bothers me and there wasn't really anything one could do about it... until now :smile:
  4. That's pretty amazing but it doesn't look like it has sleeper seats like Singapore Air or British Airways. I would love to see what the first class section looks like.
  5. oooh, I like that you can dim the windows.
  6. WOW! :nuts: That's awesome!
  7. yeah this was quite the thang around here! notice how they rolled it out on 7/8/07...get it, lol.

    It's beautiful!

    As we like to say around here, "if it ain't a BOEING, I'm not going!"
  9. Oh wow! I didn't even notice that. How cool! lol :tup:
  10. ^^ yeah a friend of mine is at Boeing and he said it was one of those non-negotiable rollout deadlines...kinda like Y2K, LOL!!