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(Source: Boeing)

(Source: Boeing)
Boeing takes the fight to Airbus with the 787 Dreamliner

Boeing rolled out the first fully-assembled 787 Dreamliner in late June. Photos of the plane were captured by Charles Conklin, an avid aviation enthusiast. The photos showed the Dreamliner in the buff (without its final paint scheme applied).

The Dreamliner had its war paint on for its official roll-out on Sunday (July 8, 2007, aka 7-8-7) to a crowd of 15,000 people. There were also another 30,000 onlookers via a two-way satellite feed from locations in the United States, Italy and Japan. Boeing estimates that as many as 100 million people were able to view the 787 Dreamliner Premiere.

"This has been a wonderful and exciting day to celebrate this breakthrough airplane with our customers, employees, supplier partners and our communities," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Scott Carson. "We are gratified that the 787 has been so strongly validated in the marketplace by our customers. Their response is proof that the Dreamliner will bring real value to our airline customers, passengers and the global air transportation system."

"Our journey began some six years ago when we knew we were on the cusp of delivering valuable technologies that would make an economic difference to our airline customers. In our business, that happens every 15 or so years, so we have to get it right," said Mike Bair, Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP and GM for the Dreamliner program.

The Dreamliner is constructed of 50 percent composites, 20 percent aluminum, 15 percent titanium and 10 percent steel. The uses of composite materials allowed Boeing to keep the weight down on the Dreamliner resulting in 20 percent greater fuel economy than the Airbus A330.

The Dreamliner is crucial to Boeing’s hopes of regaining first place from Airbus in the $60 billion USD jetliner market. Airbus is fully aware of the initial successes of the Dreamliner program and is countering with its own A350 XWB. The A350 XWB, however, isn’t due to enter service until 2013.

Boeing has accumulated 677 orders for its Dreamliner from 47 customers worldwide totaling $110 billion USD. The most recent customer was Air Berlin which ordered 25 787-8 Dreamliners at a cost of $4 billion USD. Air Berlin also secured 10 options and 15 purchase rights for additional planes.

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By Master Kenobi on 7/9/2007 11:11:17 AM , Rating: 2
I have heard that this plane can be fully assembled from it's parts and painted in less than a week. Pretty impressive. Makes me wonder how the parts are shipped to the assembly plant.

RE: Hmmmm
By Basilisk on 7/9/2007 11:26:44 AM , Rating: 4
Wonder no more:

Wacky minds dream up startling ideas for ye olde 747... like the silly idea of strapping a space shuttle on top. :)

RE: Hmmmm
By noxipoo on 7/9/2007 1:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
the airbus one looks bigger, at least it seems bigger because of the giant whale like body on top.

RE: Hmmmm
By stromgald on 7/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: Hmmmm
By Maasracer on 7/9/2007 6:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
I think he's talking about the Airbus Beluga special cargo jet, not the 380.

RE: Hmmmm
By Kougar on 7/9/2007 1:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
Nice link! Almost looks like an ISS module with a cockpit, tail, and wings instead of solar panels glued on by a kid.

RE: Hmmmm
By Master Kenobi on 7/9/2007 1:57:59 PM , Rating: 1

RE: Hmmmm
By Jetster on 7/9/2007 11:33:02 AM , Rating: 2
it looks like Boeing will use the new Dreamlifter (787 & 747 hybrid) to ship all the parts together from all over the world. I read that Boeing outsourced nearly 80% of 787 parts to subcontractors, where Boeing is more like a director/supervisor of the overall project, this just shows you how good and efficient Boeing is good at designing and managing.
787 is a marvel of modern engineering design and efficiency, and with the publicity it generated, it could well recapture people's imagination again.
i know form is not important, but my only complain is that 787 looks cooler in the cg rendering where its front/nose is more slender and sharper, gives it a more futuristic look

RE: Hmmmm
By noxipoo on 7/9/2007 1:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
it seems boeing is outsourcing because of cost. i watched a program on the A380 and they build the wings in england, tail in germany and spain, body in germany and france, ship it by boat, then barge, then truck it to south of france.... all the factories were built new and one route take them through some tiny french village with almost no clearance. seems silly if all the factories are new that they didn't pick locations that made sense, and save money. it was probably political and they wanted to create jobs in certain places or something.

RE: Hmmmm
By Ringold on 7/9/2007 5:15:55 PM , Rating: 2
It was purely political. Airbus' entire existance is political. ;)

That said, it's become "too big to fail" at this point probably. Any legitimate free-market competition that might've spawned to oppose Boeing dominance has been crushed between.. well, a rock and a red thing, one could say.

The cost sharing arrangements Boeing setup are pretty innovative on this scale, and they seem to be working great.

RE: Hmmmm
By noxipoo on 7/10/2007 12:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
that whole wiring problem caused by french wires not connecting to german wires because they were using different versions of the design software made me shake my head....

RE: Hmmmm
By TimberJon on 7/9/2007 11:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
Via hidden, underground rail ways. I wonder if they use locking-Cam type fastening methods instead of ALL bolts and rivets. It would make assembly faster. Locking cam, like the shoulder mount on the marine from the Starcraft II trailer.

RE: Hmmmm
By blwest on 7/9/2007 1:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
The Dreamliner is constructed of 50 percent composites, 20 percent aluminum, 15 percent titanium and 10 percent steel.

What's the other 5% made of?

RE: Hmmmm
By noxipoo on 7/9/2007 1:14:26 PM , Rating: 5

RE: Hmmmm
By Brandon Hill on 7/9/2007 1:20:26 PM , Rating: 5
What's the other 5% made of?


RE: Hmmmm
By Master Kenobi on 7/9/2007 1:45:05 PM , Rating: 2
Glue and Rivets

RE: Hmmmm
By bespoke on 7/9/2007 2:18:40 PM , Rating: 5
It's PEOPLE!!! Soylent 787 is made out of PEOPLE!!!

RE: Hmmmm
By SmokeRngs on 7/9/2007 3:05:57 PM , Rating: 5
What's the other 5% made of?

Duct Tape of course. Duct tape works with everything.

RE: Hmmmm
By ebakke on 7/9/2007 9:57:48 PM , Rating: 2
How disappointing that a DailyTech reader wouldn't know this already. Thank you for quickly working to solve this small injustice.

RE: Hmmmm
By timmiser on 7/10/2007 7:59:24 PM , Rating: 1
That magic dust that Santa uses to make reindeer fly.


RE: Hmmmm
By bunga28 on 7/9/2007 4:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
3 days according to

RE: Hmmmm
By Comdrpopnfresh on 7/9/2007 9:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
they stated that @ full capacity, they can churn one out of the factory every three days. if the works work all week that'd be two a week!

By jskirwin on 7/9/2007 12:31:52 PM , Rating: 5
It doesn't seem all that long ago when the Media was filled with stories about how Airbus was going to eat Boeing's lunch.

Now Airbus is choking and Boeing's the one enjoying the limelight.

Good. I'm glad we've got two heavyweights willing to duke it out for market share. We'll be the winners...

RE: Impressive...
By Oregonian2 on 7/9/2007 1:03:46 PM , Rating: 4
Which means the EU commission will be looking into Boeing for anti-monopoly reasons and come up with some good rules they'll have to follow. Having an American company be successful I think isn't permitted (even though some components of the new plane are made in the EU).

RE: Impressive...
By Master Kenobi on 7/9/2007 1:47:46 PM , Rating: 1
The EU just needs to accept they suck and stop meddling with companies. Airbus might have been in better shape if they werent playing politics with the EU and getting subsidies. Boeing continues to push forward without any government intervention in where they can place factories, build planes, or employ people.

RE: Impressive...
By Amiga500 on 7/9/2007 3:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
Erm... yeah...

They (Boeing) also benefit from Government funding - that comes through NASA and through the defense side.

You can bet that BPW (Phantom Works) were in constant contact with BCA (Commercial Airplanes) - sharing their knowledge of composites from the military programs.

As for Airbus - some of their management decisions are nothing short of inept - there is far too much duplication of work effort due to politics. I think they are realigning the company so each design centre is self-contained, and works on a separate project each. [For those interested, the A380 wiring problems are a result of Airbus Hamburg and Airbus Toulouse using CATIA v4 and CATIA v5... they aren't 100% compatible - ridiculous, isn't it?]

Anyway, the 787 is a brilliant aircraft, and is the first big step for commerical aviation in the 2nd century of flight. :-)

RE: Impressive...
By Keeir on 7/9/2007 4:44:00 PM , Rating: 2
I never really understood this arguement.

1. Its not as if EADS and the other members of the Airbus group/major contactors doesn't also get large government contracts for military items and would not also benifit from shared technology.

2. Any technology that is developed or used for military purposes often have extreme restrictions on use of data and incorporation in commerical aircraft. For example, in 2003 Boeing was fined for using a "Gryo-on-a-Chip" because the same chip is used for horizon displays on some military planes. Very similar chips are typically availible for less than 50 dollar.

I think thats a bit different then having governments being large stockholders (IE not caring if the Margins are greater than 10%) or getting risk-free loans from governments (which lowers the overall interest rate from private instituations as well) for R&D.

RE: Impressive...
By Ringold on 7/9/2007 5:24:56 PM , Rating: 3
Has Boeing ever been handed the kinds of free money Airbus has? If it has, I doubt it's within the last several decades.

I dont understand why people bother to deny Airbus' origins when the EU itself doesn't bother to deny it; it's a shameless attempt to satisfy protectionist urges with a home-grown aerospace giant, done at all costs with little regard to efficiency early on, and only half-assed attention paid to efficiency now.

RE: Impressive...
By TTL242 on 7/9/2007 5:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, NASA does lots of Aeronautics research targeted to Boeing.

RE: Impressive...
By Oregonian2 on 7/9/2007 6:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
That's funding alright (assuming Boeing doesn't actually have to do anything for that money and can just spend it on other projects however they see fit).

RE: Impressive...
By ebakke on 7/9/2007 10:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
In my experience working for a gov't contractor, there is never money that is just given to a contractor with no strings attached.

RE: Impressive...
By timmiser on 7/10/2007 8:05:00 PM , Rating: 2

Winning a government contract typically means you are not only the lowest bidder, but rather winning the business at a profit loss hoping to figure out a way to reduce costs down the road.

We all should know that the words "Lucrative" and "Government" do not go hand in hand!

RE: Impressive...
By timmiser on 7/10/2007 8:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
Further to my last post, currently right now the US Government is debating on whether to purchase military tankers from Boeing (767) or Airbus and word on the street is that they are leaning toward buying the Airbus tankers. I believe the contract will be announced in August or September so we'll have to wait and see.

RE: Impressive...
By Ringold on 7/10/2007 12:14:48 AM , Rating: 2
Without even questioning how useful that research is to selling planes...

... and EADS sits around and does absolutely nothing but sell Boeing knock-offs, right? They have military contracts and space contracts. Difference is, Boeing, Lockmart, and other contracts competitively bid for most everything NASA doles out; difficult to say how truly competitive EADS has to be with any contractor other than BEA Systems.

Oh, and with a little first-hand knowledge of at least some of the aeronautics research that NASA does, that knowledge is shared with all; Boeing wouldn't really have an upper hand there. Nice shot, though.

RE: Impressive...
By Amiga500 on 7/10/2007 4:04:18 AM , Rating: 2
That knowledge is meant to be shared with all.

I can assure you - the amount of detail left out in alot of the papers ensures it is not shared out to everyone!

Anyway, the way it works is NASA give a grant to Boeing (or LM, or GE, or whoever) to do research into something - at the end of it they are expected to prepare a Contractor Report (CR).

They aren't under obligation to include everything they find, and the reasons why they went looking in the first place - and if you don't have the full context (background) of the work included in the paper, it alot of the time, is almost worthless.

RE: Impressive...
By Keeir on 7/10/2007 1:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
Still not addressing that EADS's various divisions recieve significant research funds for a variety of products which are useful for aircraft as well. In just a few minutes of searching I found nanoparticle coats, communications devices, control circuits, and more. Sure, these aren't given to Airbus SAS. But then most of the NASA grants go to Boeing IDS or Boeing Technology. Not Boeing Commerical Air.

RE: Impressive...
By Ringold on 7/9/2007 5:33:37 PM , Rating: 2
I like that Sarkozy recently got a clause taken out of the new EU constitution that would've explicitly mandated that markets be what they would consider "competitive". Apparently there's still some similar language left in there, but that would've been a tool invoked absolutely every time the EC got a feather up it's ass when an American firm happened to dominate a European one.

Apparently Sarkozy said afterwords "What did competition ever do for us?", or something to that effect.. I don't know that I'd of said that, but.. I think I like Sarkozy more and more every day.

Looks Like
By Merry on 7/9/2007 10:52:25 AM , Rating: 3
Airbus will loose in this sector of the market then. Of course the 787 isnt really competing with the A380 (as many suggest) so i'm guessing the new battle ground will be in the short haul sector, as Airbus are starting to make inroads into the 737s market share with the A319/20.

I would presume that that sector of the market is particularly relevant given the boom in budget air travel,with many of their fleets being made up of mainly of 737s and Airbus A319/20s.

Anyways well done to Boeing, just goes to show what benefits competition can bring for both us and the planet.

RE: Looks Like
By A5 on 7/9/2007 11:01:23 AM , Rating: 2
I believe the main target for this plane is mid-range, mid-traffic routes. Think of the routes you see 757s and 767s on today, and that's what they're going for I think.

RE: Looks Like
By pauldovi on 7/9/2007 12:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. Boeing covers all fronts with the 787. There are various models of the jet which cover roles of short distance domestic flights to Pacific / Atlantic ocean flights.

There is the -3, -8, and -9.

The -3 is for short range and large passengers (domestic flights)

The -8 and -9 are long range models with the -9 having a range of 8,500 nm.

RE: Looks Like
By stromgald on 7/9/2007 4:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
It matches the 757s and 767s in capacity, but not so much in routes.

RE: Looks Like
By MGSsancho on 7/9/2007 11:05:45 AM , Rating: 2
Airbus will loose in this sector of the market then. Of course the 787 isnt really competing with the A380 (as many suggest) so i'm guessing the new battle ground will be in the short haul sector, as Airbus are starting to make inroads into the 737s market share with the A319/20.

depending on the model depends on its range. I head rumors from insiders that there is an upcoming model that will connect any cities on earth, but i cant confirm it with Boeing press released stuffies.

RE: Looks Like
By ElFenix on 7/10/2007 6:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
the model you're refering to is the 777-200LR 'Worldliner' which can fly nonstop between just about any two airport pairings in the world. to prove it's capability it flew (probably with a skeleton crew to max out the fuel supply) the wrong way from hong kong to london (or, more than halfway around the world).

RE: Looks Like
By Ringold on 7/9/2007 5:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'd imagine other segments of BA's business will be helped along by strong 787 sales; if a fleet has a lot of Boeing's already, why get an Airbus? Even if a Boeing alternative may not be as efficient in a category not best served by the 787, there's likely economies of scales by having lots of Boeings in areas like maintenance. I've been told the two companies planes take entirely different methods, tools and parts to service, so keeping a hub's operations simple may lead an airline to keep the Boeing "faith". Not to mention if they already have pilots trained for Boeing's.

Just a shot in the dark, anyway.

RE: Looks Like
By Treckin on 7/9/2007 7:10:32 PM , Rating: 1
id like to meet the commercial airline pilot that can only fly one BRAND of plane...

RE: Looks Like
By Keeir on 7/9/2007 7:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, its even worse then that

Each aircraft usually requires special training to be certified to fly. Thus just because a pilot can fly a 737 does not mean they can fly an A320 without having completed the required training.

Maybe training is nominal in terms of depth and time, but usually it requires use of training aircraft which are expensive even if the time is small.

RE: Looks Like
By ebakke on 7/9/2007 10:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
Pilots must be certified on the specific models they will be flying.

RE: Looks Like
By Ringold on 7/10/2007 12:22:35 AM , Rating: 2
Thats exactly what I was refering to. Each different model requires a different type-certificate, and the (very expensive) training to go along with it. It was my thought that if Boeing aircraft (or for a fleet heavily invested in Airbus, then Airbus aircraft) were heavily used already, or would be favored once 787's were introduced, assuming Boeings have stronger similarities between them than do 787s and models from its rival then it'd be cheaper for the company and easier for the pilots (hence the economies of scale I mentioned) to favor other Boeing models even if they weren't the absolute best-of-breed any longer. Plus the maintenance similarities.

Hey, there's even a huge difference between light general aviation 4-place normally aspirated 4 cylinder planes that look alike, and even bigger ones between high and low wing models. It's not a big deal to move between them but each time one must (according to FARs, and should according to common sense and safety) familiarize with a different planes operating handbook. It's a lot easier to move for example from a C152 to a C172 than it would be to a DA-40, for example.

RE: Looks Like
By timmiser on 7/10/2007 8:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
The 757/767/737-300 models in the mid-80s introduced the idea of using identical flight decks accross aircraft models as a selling tool for Boeing. That caught on and Airbus started doing the same thing. As a matter of fact, it is very difficult to tell the difference from the flight deck between the 57 and 67.

Not sure to what degree the commonality is used today but I'm sure it still exists.

RE: Looks Like
By Amiga500 on 7/10/2007 4:09:46 AM , Rating: 2
Very good point - and one that airlines do consider.

As for the pilot training - Airbus have tried to keep alot of cockpit commonality through the whole line A319 right up.

This means the type rating can be done for each aircraft much quicker and cheaper than from say, a 747-400 to a 767-300.

Ryanair used to run only Boeings, apparently it was a big maintenance saving. But I think (I could have it the wrong way around) Airbus made them a helluva offer on A320s and they are going to get some of those.

good stuff....
By otispunkmeyer on 7/10/2007 3:56:14 AM , Rating: 2
looks svelte

who makes the engines? rolls royce?

RE: good stuff....
By anthrax on 7/10/2007 8:17:35 AM , Rating: 2
There are going to be 2 engine options.

Roll Royce Trent 1000's OR GE's GENx engine.

RE: good stuff....
By timmiser on 7/10/2007 8:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and Briggs and Stratten!

YAY... or not...
By lotharamious on 7/9/2007 10:40:08 AM , Rating: 1
The A350 XWB, however, isn’t due to enter service until 2013.

So what are they going to do for the next 6 years, just keep building them to supply buyers?

RE: YAY... or not...
By lotharamious on 7/9/2007 10:41:37 AM , Rating: 2
My bad, wrong plane

RE: YAY... or not...
By anthrax on 7/10/2007 8:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
The A350? .. haha you gotta see the following video..

Next step for Boeing
By timmiser on 7/10/2007 8:11:00 PM , Rating: 2
Stay tuned for a redesigned 737 model that incorporates the 787 manufacturing technics and the lowest operating cost per seat ever.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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