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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 colonelclaw on 6/29/2007 7:36:55 AM , Rating: 2
i'd be interested to know more about how boeing develop the software that runs this aircraft. i would imagine the entire thing runs fly-by-wire and uses thousands of incredibly sophisticated systems that all have to talk to each other. how do they write the systems, and more importantly how do they debug them?
when one single line of dodgy code has the potential to kill hundreds of people there must be a totally different mind-set needed to regular software coding, where "get it out the door and patch it later" seems to now be the accepted norm

RE: Software
By SLI on 6/29/2007 8:41:50 AM , Rating: 1
Hmm. Wonder if the black box is now composite. Or better yet, 2 cups and a string with a talking rat inside that has been taught six languages. Think of the savings!!

RE: Software
By Ringold on 6/29/2007 3:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well, unless it's truly 100% fly by wire, a software failure causing serious mayhem can always be solved by flipping off the avionics and/or master switches and man-handling the controls without the aid of powered assist. That's the sort of thing they train for in simulators; total power failures during a power-off approach to a short field that's technically too short to land at during a good day, all while a hurricane is blowing. Getting hundred-plus pound ailerons to budge isn't easy though.

But if it's 100% computer controlled, then yeah, a blue screen and they'd be screwed. I hope that's not the case, though. We've got pilots with Mark I Eyeballs and steak-and-potato-fueled hands and feet precisely to be a backup and they hopefully continue to get used. Maybe it's because of or inspite of being a GA pilot myself I'm not anywhere near ready to hand over airliners to HAL -- or Garmin.

RE: Software
By geddarkstorm on 6/29/2007 4:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
Here here. There should always be manual backups for every critical part. It'd be insane to rely on computers for everything. Has Battlestar Galactica taught them nothing?

RE: Software
By tacticusv2 on 7/3/2007 6:22:57 AM , Rating: 2
see what you would do is design a system running only the core components of a realtime os (OS,networking stack)
and nice small apps that do 1 thing really well so getting other people to look at the code is nice and easier

with small industrial specced boards and having several of them for each task

software based solution would probably be more reliable and cheaper to service than say your average mechanical setup

it would be harder to make multiple redundant mechanical systems than multiple redundant electrical based systems

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