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First Boeing 787 Dreamliner Delivered, 3 Years Off Schedule

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Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is a twin-engine, long-range jet that takes between 210 and 290 passengers. (Image: Svilen Milev)
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is a twin-engine, long-range jet that takes between 210 and 290 passengers. (Image: Svilen Milev)

BUSINESS

  • Boeing 787 Dreamliner carbon design slashes fuel costs by 20%
  • Japan’s All Nippon Airways pays $200 million for Dreamliner
  • Boeing receives 820 Dreamliner orders, including 55 from ANA

Boeing has delivered its first 787 Dreamliner to Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) for $200 million, three years later than its original due date.

Boeing has received just over 820 Dreamliner orders to date. ANA is to use its recent delivery for domestic flights before venturing toward international flights. Though it uses only 80% fuel flying similar distances in relation to the Boeing 767, the Dreamliner outflies the Boeing 767 by more than 50%.

Boeing has received orders for 54 additional Dreamliners from the Japanese airline. The aircrafts are worth $11 billion each, and there are 40 Boeing 787-8 passenger planes among the orders.

Boeing plans to deliver four planes to ANA in 2011, eight in 2012, and complete its 787 deliveries to the carrier by the close of 2017.

Carriers will be able to save as much as a fifth on fuel costs thanks to the Dreamliner’s carbon fiber design. It also boasts better quality cabin air and adjustable light windows, affording passengers greater comfort.

Delays Add $30 Billion in Expenses

Delays to 787 deliveries have brought expenses to over $30 billion, which is likely to impact Boeing’s profit from the aircraft. The company may see the decade close out without return from its 787 planes, and with no guarantees thereafter. Boeing has fixed the monthly aim of producing 10 planes from 2013 onward.

The 787 was to take to the skies commercially in mid-2008 but its launch suffered significant delays. The aircraft’s maiden voyage was in December 2009, and its flight-testing came to an end midway through 2011. The aide-body airliner gained safety approval from the EU Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration at the end of August 2011.

Cost Wins Out Over Speed in Aviation Industry Priorities

Though Boeing had been pursuing a line of “Sonic Cruiser” aircraft ten years ago, the worldwide financial crisis reordered airline demand on the aerospace industry. When the speed criterion lost out to cost effectiveness, aircraft manufacturers redirected their efforts to produce less fuel-hungry jets based on composite technology.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is a twin-engine, long-range jet that takes between 210 and 290 passengers. The aircraft’s windshield is in four panels, its nose smoother than similar models, and its engine nacelles (covers that attach the engine to the jet) are fitted with noise-reducing chevron nozzles.

Boeing continues to experience turbulence due to an ongoing dispute with Washington labor unions. The National Labor Relations Board and the International Association of Machinists allege the aviation company is constructing a non-union 787 site in South Carolina due to previous strike action.

Key Facts – Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Innovation

  • Lighter maintenance and less intensive pilot training cut 787 operation costs by 10%.
  • The 787 is fitted with new sensors that lessen turbulence.
  • Better quality, less dry cabin air and lower cabin pressure will reduce the physical strain of traveling.
  • Bigger windows, including a dimming option, increase passenger comfort.

By Ellsy O'Neill for
Ellsy O'Neill is a Paris-based writer, proofreader and translator. She covers industry, culture and current affairs.

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