Responding to the overwhelming preference of airlines around the world, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' launched the 787 Dreamliner, a super-efficient aeroplane. An international team of top aerospace companies is building the aeroplane, led by Boeing at its Everett, Wash. facility near Seattle. On a Dreamliner with Rolls-Royce engines, U.K. companies make 25 percent of the 787 by value. Airlines based in the UK (Thomson Airways, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic) have 73 Dreamliners on order. Deliveries began in May 2013 when Thomson Airways received their first 787-8.
The 787-8 Dreamliner carries 210 - 250 passengers on routes of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 kilometers), while for the 787-9 Dreamliner it is 250 - 290 passengers on routes of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 kilometers). The 787-10 Dreamliner carries 323 passengers (33 percent more than the 787-8; 15 percent more than the 787-9) and its range is 7,020 nautical miles (13,000 km) - more than 90 percent of the world's twin-aisle routes.
Today, progress continues with the 787-9 and 787-10, the newest members of the family. The 787-9 took flight on Sept. 17, 2013, launching a comprehensive flight-test program leading to certification in June 2014. The third and longest 787, the 787-10, is in development and set to deliver in 2018.
In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size aeroplanes, the 787 provides airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance. The aeroplane uses 20 percent less fuel than today's similarly sized aeroplanes. 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 aeroplane. 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 aeroplanes and offers increased functionality and efficiency. For example, the team has incorporated aeroplane health-monitoring systems that allow the aeroplane 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 aluminium sheets and 40,000 - 50,000 fasteners.
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. The first UK airline to take delivery of a 787 was Thompson Airways (part of TUI Travel PLC), on May 31, 2013.
For more information on the 787 please go to http://www.boeing.com/commercial/787family/