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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 Dorkyman on 11/6/2012 12:34:01 PM , Rating: 2
Couple of comments.

The old MD80 is getting long in the tooth and is no longer considered very fuel-efficient. But perhaps someone could tell me why they simply don't retrofit with MUCH more frugal engines. I would think it would be a relatively simple engineering exercise, especially when compared to the nightmare Boeing faced when going with high-bypass engines on the 737 years ago. Man, those squashed inlets are just as ugly as they always were.

As a recreational pilot with a couple thousand hours of flying (much of it instrument time), I follow NTSB reports with interest. Airbus has had several catastrophic incidents that I'd attribute to faulty engineering logic:

The first was the aircraft that shed its vertical stabilizer in NYC in 2001. The report showed Airbus made the rudder action extraordinarily sensitive and didn't limit rudder travel as Boeing did. Furthermore, Airbus speced the stabilizer to withstand full deflection at turbulence-penetration speed, but NOT full deflection in the opposite direction once the aircraft had responded to the first full deflection. Bang: off comes the stabilizer.

The second incident was the Air France jet lost in the Atlantic a few years ago. Turns out the First Officer (FO) had the aircraft in a deep stall with full aft deflection of the control stick, but no one else in the cockpit ever noticed it BECAUSE THE STICKS WERE NOT SERVOED TOGETHER and the pilot's stick never showed that aft deflection. The plane's computers held the attitude, falling-leaf style, for minutes, all the way to the ocean. By contrast, Boeing yokes are mechanically linked together. One pilot can always tell what the other is doing.

So to me this implies an aircraft design mentality considerably more dangerous than Boeing's.

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