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Images courtesy Boeing
Boeing lists reduced weight and increased bandwidth among the reasons for the switch to wired networking

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner passenger jet is moving along swiftly in development and is not too far away from its August 2007 maiden flight. The twin-engine aircraft will feature body and wing construction that is comprised by as much as 50% composite materials and has a cruising speed of Mach 0.85. Boeing also claims that the Dreamliner is 20% more fuel efficient than competing aircraft.

In keeping with the advanced nature of the plane’s engines and construction, the Dreamliner was also supposed to make use of wireless networking for DVD-quality in-flight entertainment.

Boeing has decided to nix that idea and has switched to a wired networking arrangement for the Dreamliner. The company says that the move to wired networking only adds 50 pounds to the aircraft instead of the 200 pounds required for wireless networking components. There were also concerns over the amount of bandwidth that could be provided by a wireless network.

Reduced weight and bandwidth, however, aren't the only reasons why Boeing has decided to go with a wired network. Boeing learned that some countries would not give it permission to use frequencies necessary for wireless networking. "Knowing that the regulatory issues were basically insurmountable, it just did not make sense to apply those resources there," said Boeing spokeswoman Lori Gunter.

Boeing has stated that the switch to a wired network will not result in production delays of the aircraft, and that customers have already been notified of the change.

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saving 150 lbs !!!
By lazyinjin on 1/26/2007 11:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
I under stand that weight savings is a big part of this new airliner and that saving a little bit every place you can can add up to a lot, but 150lbs seems really insignificant(were talking super/ultra/mega-jumbo-jet here.... not formula 1)

But i do believe that wired will be better performance-wise and more simple to use.

RE: saving 150 lbs !!!
By pnyffeler on 1/26/2007 11:57:15 AM , Rating: 3
Multiply that times hundreds of flights per year, and that 150 lbs. will eat up a measurable amount of fuel.

RE: saving 150 lbs !!!
By Ringold on 1/26/2007 1:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Airlines will split hairs over a LOT less than 150 lbs. Net profitability for individual flights can be as little as a few dollars, and Jet-A costs, at least at my airport, a blistering 4.26/gal.

Even those inserts in the pouchs on the back of seats have to justify their profitable existance on a quarterly basis or they'll get axed to save weight.

I think at this point though they're trying to shave weight just to offset the growing mass of their passengers.. Weight & Balance calculations used to assume when I started I think 130lbs/person, but it creeps up seemingly by the year.. 140lbs, 150lbs.

RE: saving 150 lbs !!!
By peldor on 1/26/2007 1:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
Much more significantly they can charge you $2 to $5 to rent a piece of CAT5 when you realize you forgot it.

RE: saving 150 lbs !!!
By mindless1 on 1/26/2007 10:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that if you want to fly somewhere, you'd not going to drive instead merely because the airline had wireless or wired DVD. They could just get rid of it all and you still have to get there. Whatever they offer is an additional weight as are all other addt'l weights.

It may seem cool to watch DVDs, but not everyone is dying to do it individually. Frankly I'd just as soon have them spread out the seats, make them larger, and eject everyone that can't stop talking.

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