Boeing unveils the Dreamliner!
Jul 9, 2007 by Andrew Hull
The U.S. plane manufacturer Boeing just unveiled its first all-new plane just since 1995! It’s called the 787 ‘Dreamliner’ and it’s is a mid-sized, wide-bodied, twin-engine jet.
It is the first big commercial aircraft to be made mostly of carbon fibre rather than aluminium and it is being billed as the most environmentally friendly plane ever built. Boeing says that the 787 is much more fuel efficient than its competitors and produces 20% less CO2.
The company says it has already received more than 667 orders and that’s before the first test flight which is expected to take place in either August or September. Sunday 07/08/07 (July 7th) was purposely chosen for the launch day of the ‘787’.
The aircraft is due to go into service next year with Japan's “All Nippon Airways” getting the first planes as it was the first company to order 50 planes.
Carbon fibre which is lighter and more durable than aluminium accounts for up about 50% of the plane's structure including the fuselage and wings and will make the 787 far more fuel efficient.
Boeing says that the composite materials also mean that the air in the cabin can be more humid which will mean less jetlag.
There will be three different models of the 787 with the first carrying between 210 and 250 passengers up to about 9,400 miles.
The second will carry between 250 and 290 passengers up to about 9,800 miles.
The third will fly between 290 and 330 passengers on shorter routes
The 787 is crucial to Boeing's success in the same way that Airbus is pinning its hopes on its A380 but the two planes are very different and have two different aims.
Airbus sees its super-jumbo plane as a response to the need for a bigger plane that can carry a lot more passengers whereas Boeing predicts that the future growth sector will be for more medium sized planes that can use smaller airports.
Airbus is currently developing the A350 which will be a closer rival to the 787 but is not expected to be in service before 2011.
For the more technically minded readers, Boeing says that the 787 is composed of 50% carbon-fibre composites; 20% aluminium; 15% titanium 10% steel and 5% other materials.