Dreamliner First Class seating Credit: Boeing Company
The successful test flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner this week marks not only the introduction of a next generation aircraft, but is also a technological milestone. For example, the aircraft makes extensive use of composite materials, making its airframe lighter, stronger, and more fuel efficient. But that’s just the start of many new innovations.
The larger, eye level windows have no sliding plastic shades for a reason. There is an electrostatic film sandwiched internally that can adjust the level of light which passes through them, individually controlled by passengers, as well as the flight crew. They act the same way as tinted windows, but with multiple levels of adjustment.
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Boeing’s new 787 wide-body jetliner made its maiden flight on December 15. However, rollout of the aircraft has been dogged by a series of development delays, which will cost the company millions of dollars in compensation to customers. Getting the 787–Boeing’s main new contender in the key high-margin wide-body market segment and a platform for several new technologies–back on track is vital to securing the company’s future in its ferocious competition with Airbus.
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For at least one post, Shifting Gears will become Lifting Gears. That’s because we’re going avi-a-shun for a few paragraphs, digressing from wheeled earthbound transport to talk about doings in the skies. Yesterday, Boeing’s new passenger jet, the 787, had its much-delayed maiden flight. Looks as if everything went a-ok. The 787, with its composite, carbon-fiber construction and more fuel-efficient engines, took off, cruised around for three hours, then landed.
Boeing has been developing the 787 “Dreamliner” for years, aiming to take market share from its main competitor, Airbus. The goal was to build an environmentally more sustainable aircraft, lighter, quieter, and capable of using 20 percent less fuel than current planes of its size (it can carry 200-300 passengers). In my experience, Boeing planes feel plusher and more solid during all aspects of flight, from takeoff, through ascent, to descent and landing. Airbuses always feel more jittery, yet they seem to maneuver more crisply in the air. Obviously, I’m no pilot, so what do I know, but I always think of Boeings as Cadillacs and Airbuses as BMWs or Mercedes.
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More than two years later than originally planned, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner has taken to the skies for its maiden test flight.
The aircraft is constructed in large part of plastics, making it lighter, quieter and greener, the company said.
The plane – powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines – took off from a runway in Washington State.
Pilots Michael Carriker and Randall Neville kept the Dreamliner in the air for around three hours before landing at Seattle’s Boeing Field.
They took the aircraft to an altitude of 15,000 feet and an air speed of 180 knots, or about 207 miles per hou