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The Boeing 787 Dreamliner departed Bush Intercontinental Airport 7:20 a.m. on Sunday, November 4

Boeing finally sent its 787 Dreamliner on its North American debut Sunday morning after several delays over the years

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner departed Bush Intercontinental Airport 7:20 a.m. on Sunday, November 4. The new plane carried over 200 passengers from Houston to Chicago, touching the ground two and a half hours after taking off. 

Shortly before the flight took place, United Airlines completed its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification process for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

"I want to thank my co-workers who worked so carefully and professionally to get United certified to operate the Dreamliner," said Jeff Smisek, president and CEO of United Continental Holdings Inc. (the holding company for United Airlines). "Many people from across the company put in a lot of work to help us induct and prepare to operate the 787, and I'm proud to share this important day with all of them."

The 787 Dreamliner was delayed for years before this official debut, mainly due to manufacturing and cost-related issues. Delays have dated back as far as 2008.

?787 Dreamliner business first cabin

The first 787 Dreamliner made its maiden flight in December 2009.

The 787 Dreamliner is an efficient airplane made of lightweight carbon composites, which features a whole new passenger experience with dimmable windows, LED lights, reclining business class seats and even higher humidity. These lighter materials mean airlines can use less fuel.

The Dreamliners have 36 first-class seats, 70 premium-economy seats and 113 economy seats. United said it ordered 50 787s. 

Source: United Hub

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By L1011 on 11/5/2012 3:06:24 PM , Rating: 3
I've been following this plane for a long time and I'm glad to see it's finally carrying passengers in the U.S. I think this plane is more important than Airbus' Flying Phallus (the A380) and ultimately will be far more successful.

RE: 787
By Ammohunt on 11/5/12, Rating: 0
RE: 787
By Jeffk464 on 11/5/2012 3:39:21 PM , Rating: 5
Really once I'm in my seat I can't hardly tell what kind of plane I'm in. It mostly impacts the airlines in total cost to operate. Pretty sure the A380 has a lower total cost per passenger than the 747. I think the A320 is ahead of the newest 737 but its pretty close to even. This 787 I'm sure will beat whatever airbus has in the class, but then again airbus's version is not to far from being released. Usually the newest version of whatever is released beats the competition's existing model.

RE: 787
By Brandon Hill on 11/5/2012 3:42:35 PM , Rating: 3
Really once I'm in my seat I can't hardly tell what kind of plane I'm in.

Same here, then again, I put on my noise canceling headphones and zone the eff out :)

RE: 787
By Reclaimer77 on 11/5/2012 4:17:07 PM , Rating: 1
You can tune out the noise, sure. But you can't tune out the jittery ride!

My last flight out when we got to cruising alt this Airbus was..well it's hard to explain, but the entire airframe was like oscillating back and forth. I could feel it in my seat and even see it. If I focused on the headrest at the front, I could see the headrests swaying back and forth like a slithering snake or something.

I asked the stewardess if there was turbulence or wind gusts and she said there wasn't. So I asked her why the freaking plane was behaving the way it was, and she just said "Oh it always does that".


Never again man. Americans invented the aircraft, we invented the airline industry, and we invented international flights. Keep playing catch up Airbus, maybe one day...

RE: 787
By Amiga500 on 11/5/2012 5:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
Unsurprisingly Reclaimer in talking sh!te shocker.

It is quite well known on narrowbody, Airbus built more flex into the wings to give a smoother ride relative to the 737, same with the A330 vis-a-vis the 757/767 - so where you get the jittery ride from I have no idea. The only logical conclusion is your imagination.

If you are wondering about the headrests at the front of the aircraft move relative to you, I can assume you've never sat in the back of a 747 taking off? Fuselages flex, all of them, Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer.

Regarding invented this, that and the other - I could poke gaping holes in all those statements. But you wouldn't listen so I will not bother.

RE: 787
By Reclaimer77 on 11/5/12, Rating: 0
RE: 787
By Reclaimer77 on 11/5/12, Rating: 0
RE: 787
By Heidfirst on 11/5/12, Rating: 0
RE: 787
By Reclaimer77 on 11/5/2012 9:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
They didn't?

the first airline is generally reckoned to have been German

Using blimps! You really think that counts as an "airline"?

Anyway this is silly. America pioneered flight and every advancement that came afterwards. Deal with the historical facts.

RE: 787
By Samus on 11/5/2012 11:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, next thing you're going to say is America pioneered the automobile, firearm technology and the personal computer...ohh wait.

RE: 787
By Reclaimer77 on 11/6/2012 9:55:50 AM , Rating: 1
Sure, next thing you're going to say is America pioneered the automobile, firearm technology and the personal computer...ohh wait.

lol :)

RE: 787
By Fritzr on 11/6/2012 2:41:35 AM , Rating: 3
Otto Lillienthal was an American?

1909 (Germany) first passenger airline, DELAG (Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft)
1912 (Germany) First flight attendant (Steward/Stewardess) Heinrich Kubis
1919 (USA) Kansas City-based Commercial Airship Syndicate, Ltd. [First American Airline]

Omitting dirigible airships (which were definitely commercial airliners) we have
1913 (Russia) Sikorsky Ilya Muromets
1919 (France) Farman F.60 Goliath
1919 (Germany) Junkers F.13 [First all metal]
1925 (USA) Ford Tri-Motor [First American!]
1943 (USA) Lockheed L-049 Constellation [First pressurized cabin]
1948 (UK) Vickers VC.1 Viking [First pure jet airliner]
1949 (UK) de Havilland DH 106 Comet [First production jetliner]

Yep, you're right the Yanks had the first airline, first airliner and the first in everything else...

RE: 787
By retrospooty on 11/6/2012 12:19:01 PM , Rating: 3
You are confusing airline with airplane. The Wright brothers were the first to fly in an airplane, which they also invented.

An airline is a company that uses airplanes (that were invented by the 2 Americans) to shuttle people around.

See the difference?

RE: 787
By retrospooty on 11/6/2012 12:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
Meant to add, the Wright brothers did it in 1903. Duh.

RE: 787
By hduser on 11/6/2012 12:50:19 PM , Rating: 1
The Wright Brothers didn't invent the airplane. They perfected a method of controlled flight. I believe there were airplanes but they flew in a straight line and mostly a novelty.

The Wright Brother's meticulous method of testing (scale modeling, and wind tunnels) made the idea of their warped wing come to life. They tamed flying to something manageable and practical.

RE: 787
By Reclaimer77 on 11/6/12, Rating: 0
RE: 787
By hduser on 11/6/2012 5:26:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not marginalizing the Wright Brothers feat. It was an amazing engineering achievement for the era and an important milestone.

RE: 787
By Keeir on 11/6/2012 1:35:22 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry. No.

Before the Wright brothers, there were -no- self-powered planes capable of carrying a person for -any- length of time.

Not only were the Wright Brothers the first to ever demonstrate a definate self-powered flight (as opposed to using gravity to build up kinetic energy and then using the kinetic energy to generate lift), but years before anyone else even got off the ground they were capable of flying for 20-30 minutes over miles.

RE: 787
By hduser on 11/6/2012 5:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
May I introduce you to Clement Ader?

He got it off the ground and was barely in control.

The Wright Brothers did achieve a heck of a lot more though.

RE: 787
By Keeir on 11/6/2012 6:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad reading comprehension is difficult for you

I think you also ought to read my statement

Not only were the Wright Brothers the first to ever demonstrate a definate self-powered flight

Other people claim to have had self-powered flight. And they may have acchieved self-powered flight. None actually seceeding in having a repeatable solution that performed upon public demonstration.

RE: 787
By hduser on 11/6/2012 8:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing wrong with my reading and comprehension compared to your spelling and politeness.

RE: 787
By tamalero on 11/7/2012 1:29:55 PM , Rating: 2
its amazing how it always ends in a e-penis contest regarding who is better.. boeing or airbus.

almost as bad as a presidential campaign or religious talk.

RE: 787
By syslog2000 on 11/5/2012 5:43:06 PM , Rating: 3

Were you sitting in the tail section maybe? The mid to front section of any aircraft is a lot smoother than the tail...

I have done many (too many) long haul flights on both Airbus and Boeing and can confidently concur that once you are in the seat, you can't tell what plane you are flying...

RE: 787
By Solandri on 11/5/2012 9:53:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like he was in the tail and experiencing a dutch roll.

Here's the best video I could find showing the tail-wagging that happens in a dutch roll:

Obviously it's exaggerated in the video, but even with a smaller amplitude the yawing motion is exaggerated in the tail section of long planes. The yaw damper helps minimize it, but doesn't eliminate it entirely (it's one of the fundamental stable modes of plane motion). I've felt it at times in pretty much every type of plane I've been on, and even aboard a hydrofoil ship. Boeing had the problem early on with the 777, with a lot of passengers in the back getting sick. I think they fixed it with a software patch which changed how the yaw damper worked.

RE: 787
By DanNeely on 11/5/2012 4:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
I flew US-Australia this summer for vacation taking the 747 one way and the A380 the other; I hope Boeing's on the ball with the 787, because the A380 was was enough nicer that by choice I'd always take it over the 747. The 380 was quieter and smoother; but that could've just been an artifact of seat location (OTOH since the premium economy section is only ~105 of the cabin I'd be getting the same experience if I ever fly the route again).

The other big difference I noticed between the two was air quality; the lower pressure/humidity in the 747 left my lips chapped and raw by the end of the flight flying the A380 I was fine at the end. Having one seat fewer in each row and (I think) slightly wider aisles was a nice plus as well.

The only thing Airbus (Qantas?) got wrong was with the upper cabin bathrooms; the curving fuselage cut into the space above the seat badly. My immediate reaction was "this had to've been the work of an all male design team".

RE: 787
By Azethoth on 11/5/2012 10:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
Uhm no. Simply counting the number of seats across distinguishes many types of plane. Looking out the window at the wings gives you more clue. Some airlines only use a particular model or company: more clues.

I agree that there is a kind of cramped similarity to the seats. However even the overhead bins tell you something. For instance Southwest is on a strict Boeing diet. The bins actually fit and hold luggage. United its a crapshoot. Sometimes you get a dumb Airbus with tiny bins and then boarding takes extra long because the dumdums cannot figure out why "my luggage no fit anymore".

RE: 787
By Reclaimer77 on 11/5/2012 3:47:16 PM , Rating: 1
I hate flying in an Airbus with a passion. They are loud as hell, no sound dampening to speak of. They rattle like crazy and don't give you a smooth ride, and the seats are like marble slabs.

RE: 787
By Heidfirst on 11/5/2012 5:28:03 PM , Rating: 2
the seats at least are a customer (i.e. airline) choice & are made by 3rd party vendors.
You therefore have as much chance of getting the ones that you don't like on either Boeing or Airbus.

RE: 787
By syslog2000 on 11/5/2012 5:45:27 PM , Rating: 2

If you really believe this, then I must conclude that you don't fly a lot.
You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

RE: 787
By Gungel on 11/5/2012 6:34:07 PM , Rating: 2
Talking about loud airplain interiors, the MD80's rear seats are the worst.

RE: 787
By DanNeely on 11/5/2012 9:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
Won't argue about them being noisy and (in AA's case anyway) shabby relics; but as a large man I'll take the extra 3/4" seat width over the 737 for as long as they keep flying.

RE: 787
By Bad-Karma on 11/6/2012 12:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
Talking about loud airplain interiors, the MD80's rear seats are the worst.

The two engine intakes two feet away from your window might have something to do with that.....

RE: 787
By Ammohunt on 11/5/2012 9:45:56 PM , Rating: 2
Thats been my experience as well rattle traps you can hear ever adjustment the pilot makes in flight and at take off. You can hear the whole process when they retract the landing gear. 777 and the 767 are a well built fast and quiet.

RE: 787
By NovoRei on 11/5/2012 4:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
I take the most important feature is the increased humidity. Improves comfort and certainly was a headache for the engineers (increased corrosion rate, lower fatigue life).

RE: 787
By inperfectdarkness on 11/6/2012 2:34:05 AM , Rating: 2
This will NOT remain a 2 player market for long. Embraer and Bombardier/Canadair will be pushing upwards into this segment within the next decade or so.

RE: 787
By Gungel on 11/5/2012 6:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
The 787 is not competing with the A380. Airbus is coming with the A350 XWB which will compete with the 787 in 2014 and offers 8% lower operating cost than the 787. A lot of customers have already cancelled their 787 orders and placed one for the A350 XWB instead.

RE: 787
By Keeir on 11/5/2012 7:28:56 PM , Rating: 4
A350 doesn't compete with the 787 directly.

There is some overlap, true, but the smallest A350 is essentially the same as the largest B787

It looks more like this (3 Class)

218: B767-300
242: B787-8
253: A330-200
270: A350-800
280: B787-9
295: A330-300
314: B777-200, A340-500, A350-900
350: A350-1000
380: A340-600
386: B777-300

The A350 replaces the A330 and A340. This means it aimed at the 777 mainly and will probably have trouble against the 787. Typically mid-sized stretchs provide the best per seat cost and sell the most. Thus, since Boeing is looking at a 787-10 possibly, it looks like to me, that Airbus has essentially abandoned the 225-275 seat market, and focusing on the 325-375 seat market currently dominated by the 777.

Unfilled orders for the Boeing Midbody 3 stand at ~1,200 versus ~900 for the Airbus Midbody 3.

RE: 787
By Solandri on 11/5/2012 9:06:47 PM , Rating: 4
And just to be clear, that wasn't by Airbus' choice either. When the 787 was announced, Airbus offered the A350 as a refresh of the A330 (which does match up with the 787). Same fuselage, different engines and wing.

The airlines all shot it down. They demanded that Airbus come up with something with a redesigned, larger fuselage. So they got the current A350 design which matches up more closely with the 777.

In a way it makes sense. The 777 has been absolutely crushing the A340 in the 300-400 passenger range. 1379 total orders in 17 years vs 377 in 19 years, and about 70/yr the last few years vs about 10/yr. And without the A340, Airbus has a huge gaping hole in its lineup between the A330 and A380. A hole filled by not one, but two Boeing aircraft (777, 747).

So the airlines may have been saying they wanted something to compete with the 787, but what they were really saying was they wanted Airbus to replace the A340.

RE: 787
By Keeir on 11/6/2012 2:25:51 PM , Rating: 2

It has to do with issues of scaling and technology.

The B767 is Aluminum Panels/Aluminum Frames/Aluminum Wing
The A330/B777 Aluminum Panels/Aluminum Frames/Composite Wing
The A350 is Composite Panels/Aluminum Frames/Composite Wing
The B787 is Composite Barrel /Composite Frames/Composite Wing

Assuming similiar levels of engines, etc. The B787 is a lighter technology base than the A350. Selling a A350 in the B787 range would be counterproductive.... The A350 would be an also ran and inferior from the moment it left the factory. Airbus would not sell significant more A350s in the 225-275 market than just taking the last profit from the A330 line. Taking aim at the 777 with the A350 XWB gives the A350 a chance to dominate a market as the market leader in technology and replace a very poor performer in the A340. Which also explains why the Airlines want an "all-new" 777. They believe Boeing can scale the 787 technology base onto a larger market plane and acchieve similiar success. In other words, they believe Boeing can leap-frog the performance of the A350 XWB rather than "match" or come close with a re-engine of the 777.

(Not surprisingly the A350 with the most orders is the A350-900, which takes aim at the 777-200. The least efficient 777)

RE: 787
By DanNeely on 11/5/2012 9:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
They're not competing directly; but a big part of Boeing's push on the 787 (and why they canceled their A380 class superjumbo early in development) has been to push long range point to point travel in lieu of the hub and spoke model the larger 747/A380 class aircraft required.

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