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Boeing launched the new Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner passenger aircraft in 2003.
The launch order for 50 7E7 aircraft placed by All Nippon Airways (ANA) was announced in April 2004 and is the largest launch order for a Boeing commercial jet. The 50 7E7 aircraft deal has a list price value of $6bn. The aircraft was given its 787 designation in January 2005.
The 787 family of aircraft, in the 200 to 300-seat class, will carry passengers non-stop on routes between 6,500km and 16,000km at speeds up to Mach 0.85.
Aircraft assembly began in June 2006 and final assembly in May 2007. The first aircraft was rolled out in July 2007 and the first flight is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2008. First delivery (of the 787-8) will be to All Nippon Airways and is scheduled for the third quarter of 2009.
The aircraft is highly fuel-efficient and offers lower cost of travel in terms of seat cost per mile as well as the ability to fly directly to smaller regional airports instead of to larger airports where passengers proceed to transfer flights to regional destinations. In September 2007, BA announced an order for 24 Boeing 787s, to be delivered between 2010 and 2014. The group also has the option to buy a further 18 Dreamliners from Boeing.
Boeing Dreamliner variants
The Dreamliner aircraft is being designed in three versions, the baseline version, a short-range and a stretched version.
The baseline version, the 787-8, has a maximum take-off weight of 205,400kg. The aircraft typically accommodates 220 passengers in a three-class cabin configuration. The length is 56m. The wingspan is 58.8m and the height is 17.4m. The range is 15,700km (8,500nm).
The 787-3 short-range version is the same length and height as the 787 but has a shorter wingspan (51.5m). The maximum take-off weight is 136,075kg and the range is reduced to 6,500km. The aircraft will carry 296 passengers in two classes.
The stretched version, 787-9, has the same wingspan and height as the standard 787 but the length is increased by 6m to 62m. The aircraft carries typically 259 passengers in a three-class cabin layout.
In October 2006, Boeing business jets launched a VIP version of the 787, with an order for four aircraft placed by undisclosed customers.
Boeing Dreamliner design
The Boeing Dreamliner aircraft is of conventional design with low sweptback wings and two underwing pylon mounted engines. The design has replaced the Sonic Cruiser programme and incorporates some of the advanced design features developed while examining the Sonic Cruiser concept. The design includes increased use of lightweight and high durability composites and advanced aluminium alloys.
The low sweptback wings have raked wingtips. Carbon fibre and epoxy composites and titanium graphite laminate will be used in the construction of the wings.
The major structural work is being shared by principal industrial partners in USA, Japan and Europe.
Boeing will be responsible for about 33% of the production with the flight deck and fuselage being manufactured at Wichita, the wings and the fuselage fairings at Winnipeg, Canada, the fin at Frederickson, and the moving leading and trailing edges of the wings at Tulsa and at Boeing Australia. Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries will manufacture the centre wing box and install the wells.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries is responsible for the manufacture of the mid forward section of the fuselage, the fixed section of the wings and the landing gear well. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will manufacture the wing box. The all-composite nose section is being built by Spirit Aerosystems of Wichita.
A joint venture company, Global Aeronautica, set up by Vought Aircraft Industries and Alenia Aeronautica, is responsible for the manufacture of the mid section and rear section of the fuselage including the tailplane, representing a 26% share of production which will be based at Charleston, South Carolina. The French company Latecoere will supply the passenger doors. Goodrich will provide the nacelles and thrust reverser.
The fuselage cross section, 574cm, is compatible with standard LD3 containers. The cargo revenue capacity will increase by 40% to 60% compared with current airliners.
Dreamliner flight deck
Kaiser Electroprecision will provide the pilot controls, which will be similar in function to those of the Boeing 777.
Rockwell Collins has been selected to supply display, communication and situational awareness systems. There will be five 12in×9.1in displays and dual flight dynamics head up displays. Thales will supply the integrated standby flight display.
Communication systems include advanced VHF and satellite communication radios. Situational awareness systems include terrain awareness warning systems, weather radar and traffic alert and collision avoidance systems (TCAS) and an airport moving map for safer ground taxi operations.
(thanx to aerospace.technology.com)