The Dreamliner touched down yesterday at All Nippon Airways (ANA) in Tokyo, which purchased 50 of the $200 million planes when the 787 program launched in 2004, according to Boeing.
But now that the airplane is finally ready for flight, Boeing execs are ready to celebrate.
“This airplane begins a new chapter in aviation history,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The company calls the new plane the most efficient model to ever fly the skies and said advances in engine technology are the biggest contributor to overall fuel efficiency.
The Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of traveling long distances, which will allow airlines to add more non-stop flights to their schedules, the company said.
The Dreamliner 787-8 will carry 210 to 250 passengers on routes of up to 8,200 nautical miles, and the 787-9 Dreamliner will carry 250 to 290 passengers on routes of up to 8,500 nautical miles, which the company said brings “big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes.”
The design of the 787 has also made further advancements for waste reduction, the company said.
The airplane features large fuselage pieces rather than thousands of individual parts, which dramatically cuts back on waste and energy use during manufacturing. For example, manufacturing a one-piece fuselage section eliminated 1,500 aluminum sheets and 40,000 to 50,000 fasteners.
Composite materials make up 50 percent of the primary structure, including the fuselage and wing, the company said.
Though the Dreamliner uses far less fuel and produces far fewer emissions, passengers won’t have to sacrifice a bit of comfort.
The passenger cabin features the industry’s largest windows, a lower cabin altitude, higher humidity and cleaner air, intended to allow passengers to arrive at their destinations “more refreshed,” Boeing said.
Since launching the 787 program back in 2004, 56 airlines from six continents have placed orders for 821 airplanes valued at about $145 billion, making it the most successful twin-aisle launch of a new commercial airplane in Boeing’s history, the company said.