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Boeing's 787 Dreamliner takes-off from Paine Field

  (Source: Boeing)
After a rocky gestation period, Boeing sets off with the 787

It's been a long time coming, but Boeing's 787 Dreamliner has finally made its first flight just days after its taxiing run. After two years of delays, the next generation airliner took to the air at 1:27 pm EST from Paine Field in Everett, Washington.

The flight is expected to last for more than five hours as the pilots test the flight characteristics of the plane and the engineers on the ground crunch the raw data that is streamed back to them. The 787 prototype will land at Boeing Field which is just south of downtown Seattle after the test flight.

This first flight kicks off a nine-month testing phase for the 787 which will conclude with the delivery of the first production aircraft to All Nippon Airways in Q4 2010 – a total of 840 orders have been placed from airlines across the globe.

The 787 prototype is just one of six aircraft that will be used during the nine-month testing period to gain FAA certification.

While Boeing is hoping that most its major hurdles with the 787 Dreamliner are behind it, there will be new competition in the coming years from the Airbus A350 XWB. Like the 787, the A350 XWB's fuselage and wings are made primarily of composites, however, materials like aluminum and titanium materials are also used in the airframe. And also like the 787, the A350 XWB has a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 and promises drastic cuts in fuel consumption.

Airbus has received over 500 orders for its A350 XWB and the aircraft is scheduled to enter service in 2013.

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RE: Pretty sad for Boeing
By gcouriel on 12/15/2009 3:11:08 PM , Rating: 5
to say that Airbus designed 2 airplanes in the time it took Boeing to design 1 jet shows you did no research. a quick look would have netted you the results, and would have spared us your comment.

according to Wikipedia (i know, not the most trusted source of information, but i don't have the time for more "in depth" research), the Airbus A380 was first conceived in the late 1980's to compete with the 747. it wasn't until 1994 that the designs were finally begun. all told, it's a 13-year turn around from design to first flight (2007). that's building a CONVENTIONAL jet, without experimentation with new, exotic materials.

the A350 XWB was conceived in 2006, following criticisms of the A350 project, and design were modified at that time. it is currently scheduled for release in 2013, but as we've seen, that's not a firm date with anything this complex. that's a 7-year turnaround time from concept (albeit based on an already designed aircraft) to first flight.

the 787 (formerly 7E7) was first conceived in the late 90's, with design beginning in 2003 (as the 7E7). first flight was today, so all told, it's a 6-year turnaround from design to first flight.

here are the websites i looked at:

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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