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.
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.