The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the world’s most advanced and fuel-efficient passenger jet whose delivery has been delayed six times since the 2008 deadline, is finally set to fly.
The next-generation plane rolled out of Boeing’s paint hangar at the weekend and is getting the finishing touches before joining the Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) next month. Each Dreamliner costs more than $200 million. ANA has the largest order for these planes.
“Our teams are making outstanding progress in completing the first airplane to be delivered and achieving certification of the 787,” according to Scott Fancher, Vice-president and General Manager of the 787 programme at Boeing.
“We are inspired by the airline’s enthusiasm for this airplane and look forward to the day when we make our first delivery to ANA.” Though a long-haul plane, it will be operated by ANA as a charter international flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong.
The long-range, mid-sized and twin-engine Dreamliner is 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the comparable Boeing 767. More than half its structure is made of lightweight composite materials instead of aluminium, making the aircraft more durable and less prone to corrosion.
With seating capacity of 210 to 330 passengers, the faster Dreamliner adds to passenger comfort with its wider aisles, more legroom, taller cabins and soft blue-sky lighting instead of harsh white fluorescent lights.
The plane also offers bigger overhead luggage bins and larger windows that by the touch of a button can adjust the light coming into the cabin - rather than by raising a solid window shade.
ANA senior executive vice president Mitsuo Morimoto said their passengers will be “the first to experience the 787 Dreamliner’s comfortable interior environment. Combined with ANA’s superior levels of service, passengers will enjoy a spacious interior, larger windows, comfortable seats and touch-panel in-flight entertainment screens.”