The 210-330-seat Boeing 787 is aimed at a potential replacement market for the Boeing 767, Airbus A300-600 and A330-200/-300, estimated at more than 3,500 medium-range airliners. Three versions of the Boeing 787 have been approved so far: The 210-250-passenger Boeing 787-8, with a range of 15,700km, the Boeing 787-9, carrying up to 290 passengers up to 16,300km and the 330-seat, 6,500km range Boeing 787-3.
The Boeing 787 will be powered by 55,000lb – 70,000lb thrust engines from General Electric and Rolls-Royce. GE is developing the new GEnX, Rolls-Royce the Trent 1000. Boeing claims a 20 per cent fuel burn advantage for the 787 over the 767 and an increased cruising speed of Mach 0.85.
A range of new technologies are being incorporated into the Boeing 787. At least half of its primary structure will be built from composite materials, more than any other airliner. The aircraft’s systems use an open architecture and are greatly simplified. The traditional air conditioning and de-icing systems have been replaced on the Boeing 787 with electrical systems not requiring bleed air from the engines, saving fuel.
Boeing 787 Aircraft History-
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner programme came out of the 7E7 study for a conventional aircraft to replace the original Sonic Cruiser programme after Boeing decided it was over-ambitious. Board approval for the Boeing 787 came in late 2003 with full launch and a record order for 50 aircraft from All Nippon Airways. Since then 29 airlines have ordered 393 Boeing 787s, making it the most successful aircraft launch in Boeing’s history.
The configuration of the Boeing 787 was finalised in September 2005 and detailed design is continuing at 135 companies worldwide preparatory to assembly of the first aircraft in 2006. Demand is so high that Boeing is considering increasing the production rate of the 787 from the initial four aircraft per month to 16 aircraft. The production line is already fully booked to 2011, and some airlines have production slots retained as far ahead as 2016.
The Boeing 787 final assembly plant will open at Boeing’s Everitt facility in 2007, with certification and delivery of the Boeing 787-8 in 2008, and the 787-9 and 787-3 in 2010.