WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.
To get the breakthrough innovations in Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing had to rethink the way it makes airplanes. Tom Cogan, director of Airplane Development, explains how the game-changing jetliner that is built in a revolutionary way. Learn more about the stories of the innovations that define Boeing .
Responding to the overwhelming preference of airlines around the world, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' launched the 787 Dreamliner, a super-efficient airplane. An international team of top aerospace companies is building the airplane, led by Boeing at its Everett, Wash. facility near Seattle.
The 787-8 Dreamliner will carry 210 - 250 passengers on routes of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 kilometers), while the 787-9 Dreamliner will carry 250 - 290 passengers on routes of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 kilometers).
In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 provides airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance. The airplane uses 20 percent less fuel than today's similarly sized airplanes. It will also travel at a similar speed as today's fastest wide bodies, Mach 0.85. Airlines will enjoy more cargo revenue capacity.
Passengers will also see improvements on the 787 Dreamliner, from an interior environment with higher humidity to increased comfort and convenience.
The key to the exceptional performance of the 787 Dreamliner is a suite of new technologies developed and applied on the airplane.
Composite materials make up 50 percent of the primary structure of the 787 including the fuselage and wing.
Modern systems architecture is at the heart of the 787's design. It is simpler than today's airplanes and offers increased functionality and efficiency. For example, the team has incorporated airplane health-monitoring systems that allow the airplane to self-monitor and report systems maintenance requirements to ground-based computer systems.
New engines from General Electric and Rolls-Royce are used on the 787. Advances in engine technology are the biggest contributor to overall fuel efficiency improvements. The new engines represent nearly a two-generation jump in technology for the middle of the market.
The design and build process of the 787 has added further efficiency improvements. New technologies and processes have been developed to help Boeing and its supplier partners achieve the efficiency gains. For example, manufacturing a one-piece fuselage section has eliminated 1,500 aluminum sheets and 40,000 - 50,000 fasteners.
The 787 program was launched in April 2004 with a record order from All-Nippon Airways. Fifty-eight customers from six continents of the world have placed orders for 851 airplanes valued over $175 billion, making it the most successful twin-aisle launch of a new commercial airplane in Boeing's history. The 787 program opened its final assembly plant in Everett in May 2007. First flight of the 787 Dreamliner occurred on December 15, 2009.
More than 50 of the world's most capable top-tier supplier partners are working with Boeing to bring innovation and expertise to the 787 program. The suppliers have been involved since the early detailed design phase of the program and all are connected virtually at 135 sites around the world. First delivery of the 787 to ANA took place on Sept. 25, 2011.