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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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RE: Smart move
By Martin Blank on 1/26/2007 1:12:21 PM , Rating: 2
Wireless networks can be preferable in terms of cost. Where I work, we have a courthouse that is over a century old. Because of this, it is tremendously expensive to run new network cabling, both because we are forbidden to drill holes in the brick and concrete and so much find different routes that are longer and sometimes require additional equipment because we can, and do, go past the 100m mark on overall distance, and because some of the areas where we can drill come under asbestos abatement laws, requiring special equipment and measures to minimize exposure. Placing a router and three switches can easily cost $15K -- before buying any hardware. Throwing a few wireless units in place, since electrical power is already run, can cost far less.

I had to deal with similar things in the older buildings backstage at Disneyland.

RE: Smart move
By masher2 on 1/26/2007 1:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
> "Wireless networks can be preferable in terms of cost..."

Are you reading posts before you reply to them? That's exactly what I said-- you run a wireless network *only* when its cost-prohibitive to retrofit cabling.

RE: Smart move
By mindless1 on 1/26/2007 10:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
No that is not what you wrote. It would now be a good idea for you to go back and read.

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