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(Source: Charles Conklin)

(Source: Charles Conklin)
An eager photographer catches the 787 Dreamliner in the buff

It has been a long time coming, but the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner has rolled off the assembly line. Charles Conklin -- an avid aviation enthusiast -- managed to snap some pictures of a fully assembled Dreamliner sans paint.

According to Flightblogger, the official roll-out ceremony for the Dreamliner is on July 8 with the first delivered scheduled to take place in May of next year. The production run of aircraft is completely booked until 2013 at the earliest.

The Dreamliner is the next generation of airliners for Boeing and makes use of composite materials in 50 percent of its body and wings. The use of composite materials has helped Boeing keep the weight down which allows the Dreamliner to be 20 percent more fuel efficient than its closest rivals. Top speed for the aircraft is Mach 0.85.

Business travelers will appreciate the integrated networking capabilities on the Dreamliner. Boeing had initially planned to equip its Dreamliner with wireless networking, but instead decided on a wired networking to save 150 pounds per plane.

As of April, 44 customers have ordered 544 Dreamliners at a cost of $75 billion USD.

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By TomZ on 6/28/2007 3:29:39 PM , Rating: 3
Anybody know if this is a "prototype" or "production" plane? Have any of these flown yet, or is this the first one that will be flown and tested? I realize that very extensive simulation is performed, but I assume some real flight testing still occurs.

RE: Prototype?
By Brandon Hill on 6/28/2007 3:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Most likely an early prototype to be used for flight testing.

RE: Prototype?
By jak3676 on 6/28/2007 3:33:00 PM , Rating: 2
according to wiki, the first flight tests will be Sep 07

RE: Prototype?
By omnicronx on 6/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: Prototype?
By Hoser McMoose on 6/28/2007 4:19:12 PM , Rating: 5
Actually the 787 has been rather remarkable due to it's LACK of delays! While I'm sure there were some minor setbacks here and there, and the design did change somewhat from the original plan in the 90's vs. the new plans after 2001 (pretty much all of the airline industry changed then), but it's been essentially 100% on-schedule.

Are you sure you aren't confusing this plane with it's competitor, the Airbus 350? That plane has seen multiple delays, though to be fair, most of them had little to do with designing the plane itself so much as changing the focus of the design and dumping resources into the seemingly bottomless pit that is the Airbus A380.

RE: Prototype?
By Misty Dingos on 6/28/2007 10:21:35 PM , Rating: 2
Just a question? Do you work for Airbus?

RE: Prototype?
By Keeir on 6/28/2007 3:38:29 PM , Rating: 3
I would say "production"

I believe there will be a total of 7 planes used in certification testing program. Some planes will be broken/destroyed for actual use by Static and Fatigue testing.

Other planes will be used for systems, airflow, and in-service simulations. Usually an aircraft manufacturer will deliever some of the flight test aircraft to a customer (at a discount)...

But aside from some minor updates (which always occur during the lifespan of aircraft production) this 787 is identical to the planes which will be delivered to customers starting next year

RE: Prototype?
By timmiser on 6/28/2007 5:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
Boeing stopped building prototypes many years ago. All of the prototype work is now done completely on the computer therefore not requiring a prototype and thus saving big bucks.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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