South Carolina’s First 787 Destined for India

May 8, 2012 by  
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The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to come out of the Chicago-based airplane manufacturer’s South Carolina plant was celebrated recently at a function in North Charleston. The aircraft will undergo a string of systems checks and engine runs before taking to the air locally, in preparation for its flight across the Atlantic Ocean to India’s Mumbai International Airport and delivery to Air India. Speaking at the event, Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive officer, Jim Albaugh noted that the rolling out of an airplane from the company’s third final assembly site in South Carolina was a proud moment for Boeing.

Air India will take delivery of the history-making aircraft in mid-2012. It will be the second Boeing 787 Dreamliner of its 27-aircraft order, with the first having been delivered in March from the aircraft manufacturer’s Washington plant. Three more 787’s are to be delivered by the end of the year, with the balance expected in 2013.

Launched in April 2004, with initial orders for 851 airplanes valued at more than $175 billion, from sixty customers, the 787 goes on record for the most successful launch of a new commercial airplane in Boeing’s history. Following a number of delays in manufacture, the first 787 Dreamliner flight took place on 15 December 2009, with the first airline to fly the plane, All Nippon Airlines of Japan, taking delivery on 25 September 2011. Although the company has reportedly had 25 order cancellations this year, they have secured 19 new orders for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Private Russian airline, Transaero, has ordered four of the airplanes, while Japan remains the biggest buyer.

Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager Jack Jones noted that every one of the teammates at the South Carolina plant should be proud of the historic accomplishment of building airplanes to meet Boeing’s high quality standards, while at the same time maintaining an exceptional workplace safety record. Jim Albaugh endorsed this view by welcoming the South Carolina team into a “small and elite fraternity … of workers who have built one of the most complex machines in the world – a commercial airplane.”

Dreamliner Kicks Off Tour in China

December 6, 2011 by  
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Promoted as the “first new airplane of the 21st Century”, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrived in Beijing on Sunday 4 December to start its scheduled six month tour which will include Ethiopia, Qatar and Kenya. With China being the biggest Boeing customer outside the United States, the aircraft manufacturer will be demonstrating the Dreamliner’s features and benefits to potential and confirmed customers in Beijing, Guangzhou and Haikou between now and 11 December. Identified as having the fastest growing aviation market, China’s four main airlines – China Southern Airlines Co Ltd, Air China Ltd, Hainan Airlines Co Ltd, and Xiamen Airlines – have ordered a total of 41 Dreamliners, while Hong Kong Airlines has reportedly entered into a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of 32 aircraft.

Boeing’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing for the regions of Greater China and Korea, Ihssane Mounir, noted that in addition to having the fastest growing aviation market, China is on track to become the world’s second largest market, despite being affected by the economic slowdown in both Europe and the United States. As China experiences an impressive level of economic growth, it is anticipated that it will become more competitive both in domestic travel and on an international level.

Although there have been numerous delays in the production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the manufacturer reportedly has firm orders for 821 of the wide-body aircraft. With the current production capacity of two-and-a-half per month, plans for increasing production capability are underway. Featuring between 200 and 300 seats depending on configuration, the Dreamliner is said to be Boeing’s most fuel-efficient model, consuming up to twenty percent less fuel than the Boeing 767 which is of comparable size. One of the unique features of the Dreamliner is the high percentage of composite material used in construction. With final assembly taking place at the Boeing Everett Factory and the new North Charleston factory in South Carolina, the 787 Dreamliner has come about through a large-scale collaboration with suppliers in a number of countries around the world. By the time the aircraft was rolled-out in July 2007 at the Boeing factory in Everett, the company had already received 677 orders, making it the fastest-selling airliner in its class.

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Finally in the Skies

January 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Features

Referred to as the “Seven-Late-Seven” by some, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner completed its maiden flight on 15 December 2009 in Seattle, Washington. This is just the first step in a rather complex nine-month flight test program.

More that two years late, the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner went relatively smoothly. Pilots Randy Neville and Mike Carriker reported no issues in the course of the three-hour flight, cut short by poor weather conditions. The overall performance of the aircraft will only be judged once all six of the test airplanes have been tested. During this process it will need to prove to shareholders, federal aviation regulators and airline customers that it can meet its fuel efficiency and emission goals. If the entire test program goes according to plan, the 787 Dreamliner should be in commercial service toward the end of 2010.

Amongst the anxious spectators of the maiden flight was Mitsuo Morimotto, All Nippon Airways’ vice president, as the Japanese carrier is the first on the list to receive Boeing’s new 787. He is quoted saying: “After watching the flight and hearing the pilots, I feel confident Boeing will be able to deliver our airplane on time. This flight is a step to go forward.” Boeing already has some 840 orders for the new 787, though the delay in the program and the global economic crisis has resulted in 83 cancellations in 2009.

What has truly appealed to buyers is Boeing’s promise of huge fuel savings. This well designed aircraft is made largely of composite materials and thus has a lower mass when compared to other similar models. It is expected that the longest range variant of the 787 will be able to fly to over 5 000 km at a cruising speed of 903 km/h. There is indeed much to look forward to, and it is easy to understand why the Dreamliner has received so much attention. However, there is still a way to go and hopefully there will be no more delays.

Boeing 787

February 9, 2009 by  
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As the Boeing 787 Dreamliner took to the air from the Boeing Field in southern Seattle for its maiden flight on December 15, 2009, no doubt there was a collective sigh of relief from all those who have been involved in the development of this mid-size, twin-engine jet airliner, which is anticipated to be the company’s most fuel-efficient airliner yet. Making use of composite materials for most of its construction, the Dreamliner was a collaborative project involving numerous suppliers around the globe, and by the time the airplane made its appearance at a roll-out ceremony on July 8, 2007, the anticipation was so great that Boeing had reportedly secured close to 600 orders.

Unfortunately, a series of unforeseen problems and delays resulted in the scheduled date of delivery being altered several times, with the original date of May 2008 becoming a distant memory and the anticipated date being pushed forward to the fourth quarter of 2010. It would seem that the delays were primarily due to the collaboration of suppliers, with some not being able to meet their commitments in time. Despite the delays, Boeing is confident that the innovative features of the 787 Dreamliner will be well worth waiting for.

These features include an airframe that is 80 percent composite by volume, resulting in lighter weight and improved fuel efficiency. With a cruising airspeed of Mach 0.85, the 787 can cover a distance of between 8,000 and 8,500 nautical miles, allowing non-stop flying between Los Angeles and Bangkok, or Taipei and New York City, to give just two examples. Flight systems feature Avionics Full-Duplex Switched Ethernet, to transmit data between the Dreamliner’s flight deck and aircraft systems. The flight deck itself boasts LCD multi-function displays using a GUI widget toolkit with two head-up displays and a yoke.

The Dreamliner has the capacity to seat between 210 to 330 passengers, depending on the variant and seating plan. To enable passengers to maintain a view of the horizon, cabin windows have been made larger with a higher eye level. Moreover, windows make use of “smart glass” technology facilitating a reduction in glare while retaining transparency for viewing. Another feature that has been developed with passenger comfort in mind is the adjustment of cabin pressure from the average equivalent of 8,000 feet to the equivalent of 6,000 feet. The increase in cabin pressure is made possible partly because of the superior properties of composite materials.

There are three variants of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with the 787-8 slated to enter service in 2010, followed by the 787-9 in 2013 and an, as yet, undetermined date for the 787-3.

787-3 Dreamliner

Cruise speed: Mach 0.85
Range: 2,500 to 3,050 nautical miles
Ceiling: 43,000′
Length: 186′
Wingspan: 170′
Configuration: Twin aisle
Height: 56′
Maximum weight: 364,000 pounds
Engine(s): Choice of two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 or General Electric GEnx engines
Crew: Two
Passengers: 290 to 330

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

Cruise speed: Mach 0.85
Range: 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles
Ceiling: 43,000′
Length: 186′
Wingspan: 197′
Configuration: Twin aisle
Height: 56′
Maximum weight: 484,000 pounds
Engine(s): Choice of two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 or General Electric GEnx engines
Crew: Two
Passengers: 210 to 250

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Cruise speed: Mach 0.85
Range: 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles
Ceiling: 43,000′
Length: 206′
Wingspan: 203′
Configuration: Twin aisle
Height: 56′
Maximum weight: 540,000 pounds
Engine(s): Choice of two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 or General Electric GEnx engines
Crew: Two
Passengers: 250 to 290

Boeing

February 9, 2009 by  
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Based in Chicago, Boeing manufactures commercial jets and military aircraft, rotor craft, missiles, launch vehicles, defense and electronic systems, and communications systems. The company employs more than 155,000 people in 67 countries. Boeing’s long history includes development of bombers, fighter planes, and surveillance aircraft. In 1997, Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a highly efficient airplane that made its first flight on December 15, 2009.

Boeing‘s Phantom Works division is based in St. Louis, Mo. and employs approximately 2,600 employees. It provides cutting-edge technology for aerospace needs, homeland security, and air traffic control as well as composite materials and advanced avionics.

Composite Materials in Aviation

November 28, 2007 by  
Filed under Features

The development of composite materials is considered to be one of the most important advances in aviation design since aluminum was introduced in the 1920s. Development of various composite materials has had a very positive impact on the performance, shape, reliability, weight, cost and composition of modern aircraft.

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Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Moves Forward – Airplanes

June 19, 2006 by  
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Boeing has announced that they’ve released twenty-five percent of the documentation needed for manufacturers to begin building their new 787 Dreamliner. The largest of the aircraft‘s pieces, the wing skins and fuselage can now be built. Final design plans have yet to be completed.

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