Gareth Stringer's 2010 blogGAR Entries

JUL 18 2010
Dreams come true as Boeing 787 arrives at Farnborough 2010.

After a nine hour flight from Boeing’s Seattle headquarters, the Dreamliner appeared overhead Farnborough earlier today, performing one flypast before landing and taxiing in with the eyes of the world’s media looking on.

This is the Dreamliner’s first appearance outside of the USA, a milestone for a project which is nearly three year’s behind schedule having made its first flight as recently as last December.

But Boeing is playing down the delays, despite last week counselling that deliveries to its first customer, All Nippon Airways, could yet slip from late 2010 to early 2011. With a projected career of something like 50 years ahead of the 787 however, Boeing is clearly hopeful that a three year delay at the start of the project will pale in to insignificance next to the Dreamliner’s long service life.

The 787-8 Dreamliner will carry between 210 and 250 passengers on routes of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles while the 787-9 variant will be able to carry between 250 and 290 passengers on routes of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles with Boeing claiming that the 787 will provide airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, using 20 percent less fuel for comparable missions than similarly sized aircraft.

Passengers will also see improvements with the Dreamliner’s interior environment boasting higher humidity and increased comfort and convenience.

As much as 50% of the aircraft is manufactured from composite materials and General Electric and Rolls Royce have been selected by Boeing as engine manufacturers for the Dreamliner which, it is claimed, will see a two-generation jump in propulsion technology for the airline industry.

It will be interesting to observe the reaction to the aircraft over the trade days at Farnborough (the 787 travels back to the USA on Tuesday), the first time that the Airbus A380 will find itself without a monopoly on attention at such an event. Boeing certainly pulled out all the stops today with Chairman and Chief Executive Jim McNerney taking company directors on a private tour of the aircraft with Danielle Lineker on hand to help publicise the first UK airline customer purchase, by TUI Thomson.

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