Boeing Dreamliner makes European debut

The Boeing 787 or Dreamliner

The Boeing 787, aka the Dreamliner. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

After years of development issues, the Boeing Dreamliner, or the Boeing 787, is starting to get in some serious time in the air. A Dreamliner just made its European debut, by flying in the Farnborough Airshow. The plane has been stuck in what a movie studio would call “development hell” for some time, suffering several setbacks. However, it is starting to show signs of life. There are already some on order, so if Boeing has hit it out of the park (which it tends to do most of the time), the Seattle based firm will get a veritable Berlin airlift of cash.

Dreamliner flies across the pond

The Boeing Dreamliner made its first appearance at an international airshow on Sunday, July 18, at the Farnborough Airshow, in Hampshire, England. The air show is held every two years, and it’s the premiere air and air trade show in Britain. The appearance of the Dreamliner, or the 787, is likely to be one of the crown jewels of this year’s event. According to The Telegraph, Boeing is expecting some more advance orders of the 787, which has had numerous setbacks due to design problems and a machinists’ strike, among other things.

Lean, mean and green

Part and parcel to the selling point of the plane is its fuel efficiency and also eco-friendly construction. Only 50 percent of the plane is actually made from metal. The fuselage of the plane is actually constructed from a composite material, all in a single piece rather than riveted sheets of aluminum. The lighter weight will increase fuel efficiency, and the plane’s engines were designed to produce up to 20 percent fewer carbon emissions. The interior is designed to be far more comfortable for passengers. The plane is intended to replace older aircraft of the same size, especially the Boeing 767.

Finally achieving takeoff

The Boeing Dreamliner was originally conceived of in the late 1990s, and after the price of fuel went drastically up in the early 2000s (or “Noughties”) the need for an airliner with greater fuel efficiency got Boeing to head to the drawing board. The first flight for the plane was supposed to be in 2007, but was postponed until 2009. There are more than 860 of the planes on order already.

Further Reading

The Telegraph

BBC

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