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Is this 10 Forward or an airplane interior?
Boeing shows us a little more of their 787 Dreamliner

Boeing has posted some new images of its 787 Dreamliner including its interior and composite body. With the 787, Boeing hopes to block some of the blows thrown by Airbus in recent years

The Dreamliner will be available in three variants covering a wide gamut of passenger loads and route length:

The 787-8 Dreamliner will carry 210 - 250 passengers on routes of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,700 kilometers), while the 787-9 Dreamliner will carry 250 - 290 passengers on routes of 8,600 to 8,800 nautical miles (15,900 to 16,300 km). A third 787 family member, the 787-3 Dreamliner, will accommodate 290 - 330 passengers and be optimized for routes of 3,000 to 3,500 nautical miles (5,550 to 6,500 km).


As much as 50% of the 787's primary structure including its wings and body will be composed of composite materials. The plane will be able to travel at Mach 0.85 and uses about 20% less fuel than planes of comparable size.

The 787 is scheduled to make its first flight in 2007 with first deliveries taking place in 2008.


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Airbus in trouble
By timmiser on 3/10/2006 8:12:21 PM , Rating: 2
A problem that Airbus has with their A380 is that it eats up ALL of the resources of the consortium. Since the development of the A380, fuel prices have soared as we all know. Because of this, airlines are shying away from the A380 and the other Airbus models looking for more fuel efficient aircraft.

Boeing has responded to the airlines' efficiency needs by developing the 787 & 747-8 and it is selling like hotcakes.

The problem for Airbus is that they don't have the resources to invest in designing or redesigning aircraft (like they normally would) that can compete with the 787 or 747-8 and won't for years to come. This is why that in 2005, Boeing has come back from the dead and equaled Airbus in total sales $$ and should surpass Airbus to retake the lead in civil aviation it had owned for so long.





RE: Airbus in trouble
By Stele on 3/16/2006 3:21:55 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder that many compare the 787 with the A380 and henceforth pronounce the former the winner because it is more agile, versatile, cheaper to own and run, doesn't have special requirements with respect to airports etc...

The two planes were designed with rather different purposes in mind. And neither company forces airlines to buy a 787 over an A380 or vice versa - instead, if they *need* the capabilities of either, they buy it. For traffic heavy routes, an A380 may prove more resource-efficient, but if passenger demand does not justify the beast, the 787 would be the carriers' choice.

For that matter, the A380 isn't even the 787's direct counterpart - the A350 is, and it sure looks at least as interesting in all senses of the word as the 787.

One thing though, I sure hope 787's cockpit is an improvement to the 777 - an advantage of the Airbus flight control system is that it keeps the pilots in the loop, informing them of most going-ons in the flight systems. The 777, however, doesn't do as well, because it assumes that since it's extensively automated, feedback should be minimised - to make itself as idiot-proof as possible, perhaps. That's not always desirable, especially to veteran pilots who prefer to just *know* what's going on even if nothing's wrong.

Also, one of Airbus' key characteristics that help airlines maintain training efficiency is the fact that all their models - from the A320 to the A380 - have very similar cockpit and controls. Moving between models just requires about a week of familiarisation, and even then it's mostly for the flight characteristics than instrumentation. Boeing hasn't quite reached that level of standardisation yet, though that's not to say they won't. And that archaic yoke (was retained instead of a side-stick because pilots were too used to it)... imho I'd trade it for the compact side-stick and the useful writing/coffee/meal tablespace on the Airbus' :P

And say what you may about ETOPs, more redundancy is never a bad thing, especially when in one case you lose 50% while in the other you lose 25% of your power when one engine goes. And if one wishes to argue that modern engines are safer, the fact is shit *does* happen... plus, extremely efficient engines aren't always a plus - by definition, a very high efficiency requires greater stress on the components as the components are working very close to their rated spec. Couple that with the fact that a failure could occur over a long-haul trans-Pacific flight with no land for a thousand clicks in any direction, imho there is a strong case for 4 engines with good efficiency over 2 engines with record efficiency :P

Oftentimes, however, it's not just a question of who has the better plane. As the Air India decision showed, there may well be other non-commercial factors involved in the success of a brand/model. Even leaving those grey reasons aside, there're the usual pragmatic factors like continuity, technician/mechanic training (if an airline has been using Boeing for the last decade and trained its maintenance crew accordingly, they're less likely to suddenly switch and incur all the accompanying extra costs) and so on. Guess we'll have to see how it all goes.

Just my 2 cents'!


RE: Airbus in trouble
By masher2 (blog) on 3/17/2006 3:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
Some good points, but let me correct a couple.

> "That's not always desirable, especially to veteran pilots who prefer to just *know* what's going on even if nothing's wrong"

But what is desirable to pilots is not neccessarily desirable to the corporation buying the planes. We have to realize that automation will only increase in the future, and that (whether or not the 787 is truly safer than the A380) it will eventually lead to a near-total elimination of pilot error.

> " by definition , a very high efficiency requires greater stress on the components as the components are working very close to their rated spec."

No, an efficient engine is-- by definition-- one that maximizes the thrust/fuel consumption ratio. I realize that one common way of doing this is to run the engine closer to design specs, but there are others. With advanced technology and materials, a higher-efficiency engine CAN also be safer, and run with more overhead on tolerances.


RE: Airbus in trouble
By timmiser on 3/19/2006 6:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
Good post. Defintely on paper, the two airplanes are not designed to compete with each other. That is what the 747-8 is for.

Just wanted to correct one thing on your post:

quote:
Also, one of Airbus' key characteristics that help airlines maintain training efficiency is the fact that all their models - from the A320 to the A380 - have very similar cockpit and controls. Moving between models just requires about a week of familiarisation, and even then it's mostly for the flight characteristics than instrumentation. Boeing hasn't quite reached that level of standardisation yet, though that's not to say they won't.</quote

Actually, it was Boeing who started this trend way back in the mid 80's with the 757/767 programs and continued with it ever since on their other models. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a 757 and 767 cockpit and that was a very unique selling point for the Boeing aircraft and was one of the main reasons for Boeing's success in the mid 1980's.



RE: Airbus in trouble
By Stele on 3/21/2006 8:56:20 AM , Rating: 2
masher2 , timmiser : Thanks very much both for the kind words and feedback, very much appreciated :)

@ masher :
quote:
But what is desirable to pilots is not neccessarily desirable to the corporation buying the planes.We have to realize that automation will only increase in the future, and that (whether or not the 787 is truly safer than the A380) it will eventually lead to a near-total elimination of pilot error.


I totally agree with you, and that's the way it is in the tug of war between what the cockpit crew want and what the corporation doing the actual purchase wants. It does, however, sometimes beg the question "Who's flying the thing anyway?" :P

I certainly do not dispute with you that automation will only increase in the future, which is why I wasn't against that per se. Instead, I merely noted that in the hustle to automate every last detail, some designs adopt a machine-only approach, cutting out the human factor almost completely. As I pointed out, feedback is a good thing, even if nothing's wrong. By all means the AI can and should do everything by itself, on its own, but at least inform the crew what exactly it's doing - hence keeping them 'in the loop'.

Pilot errors occur because of the limitation of humans, but that's not to say that automation is completely immune from mistakes either. Again, more automation would be good, to raise the average level of safety (as you rightly attribute, to an elimination of pilot error) but imho the two should ultimately complement rather than totally displace one another. Which brings us back to the reason I prefer Airbus' philosophy of keeping the aircrew better-informed of what the plane's doing.;)

quote:
No, an efficient engine is-- by definition-- one that maximizes the thrust/fuel consumption ratio. I realize that one common way of doing this is to run the engine closer to design specs, but there are others. With advanced technology and materials, a higher-efficiency engine CAN also be safer, and run with more overhead on tolerances.


Good point! But could it not also be argued that if there is a very large overhead on tolerances, then the engine isn't doing as much as it really could be pushed to do, and hence is not as 'efficient' use of materials and such? Perhaps with modern technology and materials we'll see engines run closer to design spec, because they won't need as large a margin for safety as they used to... something along those lines.


@ timmiser :
quote:
Actually, it was Boeing who started this trend .... and was one of the main reasons for Boeing's success in the mid 1980's.


Thank you for the information, I stand corrected :P

And, for an obligatory forum cornered-rat argument: Anyway the sidestick and cofee table's still cooler than the traditional yoke! Latter makes you feel like you're flying a DC3 or some such antique :PP


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