History was made today with the first flight of Boeing's new 787 "Dreamliner" aircraft. Though delayed by some 2 years it is expected that this new aircraft will change commercial aviation for years to come. Here is a video of the aircraft landing earlier yesterday:
Boeing has 840 orders on its books for the new 787 aircraft, which comes in 3 versions: 1. 787-3 290 to 330 passengers 2. 787-8 210 to 250 passengers 3. 787-9 250 to 290 passengers With a speed of Mach 0,85 this new aircraft will cruise at about the same speed as the 777 and 747 model aircraft, but will be 20% more fuel efficient than similarly sized aircraft and have 20% fewer emissions.
One interesting fact is that the 787 will have fewer than 10,000 holes drilled into the fuselage during manufacture while the 747 had 1,000,000 holes drilled into it! It is anticipated that maintenance costs will be 30% less than similarly sized aircraft with 50% of the structure being from composites, 20% aluminum, 15% titanium, 10% steel and the balance of 5% other materials.
As with most aircraft today large sections are built at other plants and then brought to Everett, WA for final assembly. In order to accomplish this Boeing has converted 4 Boeing 747s into what they call “Dreamlifters”. These aircraft are used to bring large assemblies to the manufacturing facility. The forward section is manufactured in Wichita, KS and the two aft composite sections are manufactured in Charleston, S.C., then transported to the factory in Washington state. Today, 2 years later than expected, the aircraft took to the air for a 3 hour successful first flight, and deliveries of the new aircraft should start next year. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 It was absolutely perfect. You can handle this large aircraft as you can handle a bicycle." — Jacques Rosay, test pilot, regards the A-380 first flight, 28 April 2005