Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A dream-liner of the sky

Boeing have officially handed over the first 787 Dreamliner to Japan's All Nippon Airways. The 787 programme began back in 2003 and will compete with their European rivals Airbus A350. The Dreamliner is "The most technologically advanced commercial airplane in history" according to Boeing 787 Chief Project Engineer Mike Sinnett.
Artist impression of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.Image via Wikipedia

The Dreamliner is a twin-engine, bendy winged, widebody craft that has raised the bar for fuel efficiency. Some 50 percent of the weight of the 787 airframe is lightweight carbon-fibre composites that could, Boeing says, help reduce fuel costs by 20 percent. Whether travellers will benefit from the lower fuel consumption will depend on how greedy the airlines are.

The Dreamliner was in part designed to be a panacea to passenger discomfort. Numerous new technologies and design effects have allowed the Dreamliner to become more passenger friendly. Boeing spent years researching their customer's customer, us. Their research resulted in a number of design tweaks and improvements.
787 mockupImage via Wikipedia

The initial boarding was found to be of utmost importance so Boeing worked with artists and architects to create arched entranceways which provide a relaxing contrast to the "stress of pre-flight security." Not only this but you can expect roomier seats, more storage and larger, manually dimmable windows. Even economy class will see some luxury additions, with a bar, female-only lavatories and Panasonic entertainment on demand for every passenger.

Older technology has also been re-purposed such as LED lights installed in the 787 cabin, allowing the ceiling to appear higher, lighting can be controlled to make the transition between day and night easier.

One of the biggest technological advancements is the cabin pressure within the Dreamliner. The Dreamliner allows for a more comfortable cabin pressure. The pressure inside the cabin is the equivalent of 6,000 feet and not the normal 8,000 feet. The air can be recycled more frequently due to the composite body of the plane. There is also more humidty in the air reducing symptoms related to dryness.

The single aisled Dreamliner, seats between 210-290 passengers and has an asking price of $202m. Boeing estimate the potential market to be about 3300 units. Boeing already has 821 orders worth $150bn for the plane in the pipeline. Although it has endured many delays from its start to now, Boeing hope to build up to 10, 787 Dreamliners per month by the end of 2013.

For those that are interested Boeing shares, were up 3.3 percent at $61.49 on Monday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.


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