Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Boeing 787

Boeing Commercial Aircraft is currently developing its next airliner, the 787, in response to airlines' demands for a more passenger- and environmentally friendly aircraft. Launched a few years ago as the 7E7, the plane will use 20% less fuel than current widebody aircraft and will feature a spacious cabin unparalleled by today's existing models. It will essentially be an updated 767, a successful model that has been in use for domestic and international routes since the early 1980s. Similar to the 767, the three 787 variants will be designed to carry 210-250 passengers (787-8), 250-290 passengers (787-9), or 290-330 passengers (787-3).

Through extensive research, Beoing determined that passenger anxiety with flying increases dramatically once they enter the airplane cabin, undoubtedly due to the cramped nature of the plane entrance and the number of personnel crowding the area. The 787 will feature a spacious entry "lounge" with a high ceiling, making the passenger transition from jetway to aircraft much smoother. Cool blue ambient lighting, enlarged passenger windows, and spacious divisions between cabins will also serve to enhance the passenger's experience.

Boeing's 787 is somewhat of a response to the launch of the Airbus A380, a two-leveled monstrosity that is designed to transport as many people as possible (up to 800!) at once. Boeing wisely chose to develop a smaller aircraft (one that is more similar in scale to existing widebodies), a move that will undoubtedly please more airline customers. Production will begin this year, with certification in 2007 and deliveries beginning in 2008. Continental and Northwest have already ordered the planes, and other US airlines will surely follow once production is underway.

The fuselage is very similar to the 767, although the nose and wings will feature a more streamlined, swept design. While cruising at speeds exceeding those of today's fastest airliners (Mach .85) and at ranges exceeding 8,000 nautical miles, the plane will use 20% less fuel than existing models.

Passengers will be greeted with a spacious, domed lounge upon entering the plane, a feature designed to minimize passenger anxiety and discomfort associated with the cramped nature of flying.

Enlarged windows are another major revolution of the 787's design:

Transitions between business and coach class cabins will no longer be limited to a simple curtain as on planes today:


Blogger Phlip said...

Looks bad ass.

2:06 PM  

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