Boeing Delivers First 787 Dreamliner After Three-Year Delay
The new airplane is made of lightweight plastic composites that the manufacturer says will save airlines 20 percent in fuel. Other added features include better cabin circulation and electronically dimming windows.
All Nippon Airways, a Japanese airline, was the first to receive Boeing's new jet.
"It took a lot of hard work to get to this day," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, at the outset of two days of celebrations at the plane's Seattle production plant.
The blue and white-painted long-range aircraft, which boasts a graceful new design with raked wingtips, will leave for Japan on Tuesday and enter service domestically on October 26.
Boeing has taken orders for 821 Dreamliners, which will compete with the future Airbus A350, due in 2013.
The Airbus A350, Airbus' main competitor of the Boeing 787, first flew earlier this year and the first model is slated to go to Qatar Airways.
ANA has orders out for 55 more Dreamliners, which the airline says can go 52% further than the comparably-sized Boeing 767, which is made from metal. Even though Boeing is making $11 billion total from ANA alone, the three-year delay was costly.
From The Guardian:
The Seattle Times reported on Sunday that 787 programme costs had topped $32bn due to delays. That estimate raised questions, the newspaper said, over whether the new jet would make money for Boeing before "well into the 2020s, if ever". Analysts say new jets typically cost closer to $15bn. Boeing also faces Wall Street concerns over its ability to reach its target of lifting output to 10 planes a month by 2013.
Each airline that orders jets works with Beoing to customize each plane to their needs and customer bases.
From The Wall Street Journal:
A trip to the restrooms reveals one of the more unusual ANA features. The toilets—for both economy and business-class passengers— include bidets with various spray options, controlled by push-button electronics. Bidets are commonly used in Japan and ANA wanted "to provide the best services we can for our passengers," said Satoru Fujiki, ANA's senior vice president for the Americas.
One of the most noticeable new features for all Dreamliner passengers will be the bigger windows, which are more than 30% larger than those on the Boeing 767, a similar-size jet, according to ANA.
Another key feature: Out are pull-down window shades and in are electrochromatic shades that allow flight attendants and window-seat passengers to dim windows to a range of settings with the push of a button. The technology enables fliers in a window seat to still see outside even when the shades are at their darkest setting.
One lavatory on the ANA plane brings all these features together. The carrier's 787 is one of the few commercial jetliners in the world to sport a window in the restroom—a feature that other carriers can order as an option, Boeing officials say.
ANA will start using the Boeing 787s on charter flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong next month, and the fleet will begin commercial service in January on the Tokyo-Frankfurt route.
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