Boeing 787 flaunts her stuff for Indians as she lands in city. But it is still some time before you can ride her for the flight of a lifetime...
THE Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the most sophisticated aircraft ever built by the US aerospace giant but whose delivery to customers has been delayed by more than two years, touched down at the city airport on its first flight to India on Wednesday, signalling that the long wait of Indians to fly in the plane is about to end.
In fact, the wings for the first 787 that will be delivered to Air India (AI), which has placed an order for 27 Dreamliners, recently arrived at Boeing’s facility in North Charleston, South Carolina, where it is being assembled.
The first five 787s built in Charleston will all go to the Indian flag carrier. Jet Airways is the other Indian carrier that plans to buy 10 Dreamliners. The 787 that landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Wednesday is on a test-flight.
On touchdown, the aircraft, which is made of composite materials, was welcomed with a customary water cannon salute.
Super-efficient & Speedy 787!
Boeing says the 787 will be 20 per cent more fuel efficient than similarly sized airplanes.
Though a mid-size plane, it will travel at speeds similar to today’s fastest wide-bodied aircraft.
Latest figures show Boeing has orders for 835 Dreamliners. The company has received a record order for 55 aircraft from Japanese carrier ANA. AI placed orders for the 787s in 2005 but is now seeking compensation from Boeing for delaying the delivery that should have started in 2008.
The national carrier is expected to receive its first Dreamliner by the end of this year. Boeing officials said AI pilots’ training on this aircraft would begin next month.
Intensive discussions have been held with the airline and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on the training programme and type-rating of trained pilots.
Environment Friendly 787
Boeing’s website stated that as much as 50 per cent of the primary structure of the aircraft — including the fuselage and wing — are made of composite materials. The twin-aisled aircraft will also be environmentally friendly with 20 per cent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes.
The lightweight composite materials, which have replaced aluminum, make the aircraft lighter and corrosion-proof.
Airbus not far behind!
Interestingly, Boeing’s rival Airbus is already developing the long-range, wide-bodied A350 XWB to compete with the 787. The A350’s fuselage and wings will also be made of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer. The A350 is, however, likely to be launched in 2013.
WHILE Boeing already has orders for more than 800 Dreamliners from 50 airlines, Airbus has orders for more than 550 A350 aircraft.
According to the Airbus site, the A350 XWB will provide a 25 per cent step-change in fuel efficiency compared to its current long-range competitor. The aircraft’s carbon fibre-reinforced plastic fuselage results in lower fuel consumption as well as easier maintenance, the airframer claimed.
The $200-million apiece Dreamliner’s engines have been developed by General Electric and Rolls-Royce.
A view of the Boeing 787 cockpit
Article credits: Mail Today