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July 11, 2007

Boeing Unveils the First Fuel-Efficient 787 Dreamliner


Photo of a jet surrounded by a large crowd.

A crowd of 15,000 people gathered to witness the unveiling of Boeing's first 787 Dreamliner.
Credit: Boeing

Boeing unveiled its new fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner in Everett, Washington, on July 8th. The new airplane will use 20% less fuel per passenger than other similarly sized airplanes, thanks to an innovative combination of fuel-efficient engines, aerodynamic design, and lightweight composite materials. By weight, half of the airplane is composed of composite materials, including the fuselage and wings. The airplane still needs to be completed with the installation of interiors, some system elements, and flight test equipment. Boeing is building six Dreamliners for its flight test program, which will start with the aircraft's first flight in late August or September and will finish by May 2008. The company will then deliver the first Dreamliner to All Nippon Airways (ANA), which intends to fly it on its China routes in time for the Beijing Olympics. See the press releases from Boeing and ANA and the Dreamliner link on Boeing's "New Airplane" Web site.

Boeing is already planning additional models of the 787 Dreamliner. The first model is designated the 787-8, and is designed to carry up to 250 passengers on routes of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles. The 787-3 will be designed for shorter routes and will start to be delivered to Japanese airlines in early 2010. That same year, Boeing intends to start delivery of the 787-9, a slightly longer airplane designed for longer flights. And still on the drawing board is the 787-10, which Boeing plans to introduce in 2013. See the Boeing press release and its "787 family" Web page.

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