Saturday, May 13, 2006

Birth of Boeing 787 Commercial Service?

Boeing announced on Thursday, May 11, that it will deliver its first Boeing 787-900 jet to Air New Zealand at the end of 2010. The signing of the contract this week also converted Air New Zealand's original order for four 787-800 planes to four 787-900s, and also annouced the decision to supply the planes with Rolls-Royce powerplants, as opposed to GE engines that are also available on this model. The 787-900 is a slightly enlarged version of the -800, carrying 250-290 passengers on routes of up to 8,800 nautical miles.

The Boeing 787, originally developed as the 7E7, is essentially an updated model of the current midsize market workhorse, the 767, which entered service in the early 1980s. The double aisle widebody airliner, which has been released in three successive models, the -200, -300, and -400, has proven useful for flights requiring large capacity planes on both domestic and international routes. I myself have flown on the 767 on numerous occasions, including flights from Boston to Atlanta, as well as on a oddly short route between Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida (it seemed that the boarding time was longer than the short 45-minute flight time in this aircraft). I'm happy to see that Boeing is developing significant improvements to the 767, including the largest windows of any commercial aircraft operating today, improved air circulation systems, roomier cabin conditions (including a spacious entrance "lounge", a significant improvement over the current cramped entry portal on planes today), and outstanding fuel economics.

Boeing's release of the 787 program is a welcomed reaction to the release of competitor Airbus's A-380 airplane, which features a 2-leveled cabin extending the full length of the plane (unlike the Boeing 747, which is double-decked at the front of the plane only) that is clearly designed for shuttling as many people as possible at a given time. In an age where Boeing experiences increasing competition from foreign manufacturers, including French-based Airbus and Brasilian Embraer, which is currently releasing larger-scaled jets to complement its highly successful commuter jets the E-135 and E-145, it is nice to see that Boeing is focusing on improving their currently successful planes for developing state-of-the-art jets that are principally aimed at enhancing the passenger experience and confort, rather than simply packing as many people onto a plane like sardines, as Airbus has chosen to do with the release of its monstrosity, the A-380.

Keep an eye on the future developments of the Boeing company. And, whenever your travel itinerary allows you to do so, continue to support those domestic airlines that feature American-made (Boeing) aircraft, such as Delta, Airtran, Southwest, and Continental, to name a few.


Blogger mfaizalzul said...

nice blog..

7:41 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

It's funny--I was thinking of doing this very same post. Sorry for my absence of late--lots of traveling and entertaining guests. I promise lots of posts this week.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

as do I...

10:23 PM  

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