Story of Boeing 787 Dreamliner

First of all, happy new year and I wish we all have a fantastic 2022.

787 Dreamliner is regarded by many as a revolutionary aircraft. But is Boeing 787 justifying this? Let’s find out.

Before we start, let’s have an overview of the aircraft. Boeing 787, also referred to as the 787 Dreamliner is a wide-body aircraft ( meaning it has two aisles), two engines and launched in 2011 with All Nippon Airways or ANA of Japan.

The main focus of Boeing was to make the 787 fuel-efficient. Its development is said to be initiated in 2003. Boeing wanted to develop a fuel-efficient aircraft to contour any fuel crisis like that of 1973. It is also one of the most recently developed aircraft by Boeing, therefore it has many modern technologies.

The first 787 was developed in the Everett factory of Boeing. This is said to be Boeing’s most diverse aircraft as different parts come from different countries. It is presumed that the wings come from Japan, Horizontal stabilizers are from Italy and South Korea, fuselage from Italy or USA or Japan or South Korea or India, also the floor beams come from India. For fast production of the aircraft, Boeing had to develop a freighter aircraft, 747 dreamlifter for connecting the different production lines.

Boeing 787 uses Boeing’s latest technologies. It has 20% fewer fuel emissions. To achieve this 787 is made up of composite material which is very light as compared to aluminium. Also, it has raged wingtips, i.e wingtips that sweep up from the end of the wings. This reduces the drag in turn increases the efficiency. Also in older Boeing aircraft cables and pullies were used to control the aircraft, but in 787 there was comprehensive use of electrical systems like the fly by wire system.

The most iconic thing about this plane is its engine chevrons. Boeing has two engine options for the aircraft, one is General Electric GENx and the other is Rolls Royce Trent 1000. Both have chevrons on them. Sources claim that Boeing has patented the chevron design. Trent 1000 engine is also used on Airbus A350 but on that plane it does not have chevrons.

The first-ever 787 Dreamliner was assembled in the Everett factory of Boeing. The ‘prototype’ took its maiden flight on 15 December 2009. The first 787 Dreamliner was delivered to All Nippon Airways or ANA of Japan. As of December 2021, 1006 aircraft of this type has been built.

Boeing 787 has 3 variants. 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10. 787-8 is the shortest variant in terms of length and seating but has the highest range. 787-9 is longer than 787-8 but smaller than 787-10 in terms of both length and seating but has a lower range than 787-8. 787-10 is the longest variant but has the least range.

Boeing 787-8
Boeing 787-9
Boeing 787-10

There have been recent quality control issues with the 787. In 2019 the Dutch carrier KLM reported some issues with the 787-10 which they ordered. They claim the quality of aircraft of this type built in North Charleston Factory was ‘below standard’. In 2020 Boeing found the fuselage of 787s built in the South Carolina factory were below standard and could’ve resulted in fuselage fatigue. Further Boeing discovered another quality control issue with the horizontal stabilizer of the aircraft. From January 2021 Boeing suspended its delivery of 787 midsts the ongoing quality issues.

As a passenger should you be scared if you’re flying on this type of aircraft? The answer is a big no. The 787 Dreamliner which are currently flying are properly inspected and certified so you need not be scared. And if you’re flying in near future, then happy journey.



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