Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Transportation Japan

Boeing To Deliver First 787 Today 366

Posted by samzenpus
from the come-fly-with-me dept.
mosb1000 writes "The era of the plastic jumbo jet has finally arrived. Boeing is delivering their first Dreamliner to All Nippon Airways today. From the article: '"Comfort and cost are concerns of the business traveller and the 787 will deliver extreme advancements in fuel efficiency and many traveller features that will improve the journey," said Michael Qualantone, senior vice president & general manager, American Express Global Business Travel. Indeed, this twin-engine, bendy winged, widebody craft has raised the bar for fuel efficiency. Some 50 percent by weight of the 787 airframe is lightweight carbon-fibre composites that could, Boeing says, help reduce fuel costs by 20 percent.' I can't wait for my first chance to fly in one."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Boeing To Deliver First 787 Today

Comments Filter:
  • it goes smoother than the delivery of the 747-8 a week or two ago. Sort of embarrassing to have your first delivery customer refuse delivery.
    I'm sure that won't be the case, though, as Cargolux seems to have been acting at the behest of the new parent company in an effort to get further reduced rates on the 787; Japan has too much invested in the 787 project for ANA to play games like that.

    • Make that the launch customer, and another customer canceling three 747-8s because of weight and performance issues...

      Not a great week or two in the 747-8s year :(

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Monday September 26, 2011 @10:50AM (#37516342)
    This is like when a car manufacturer makes a new car!
    • Yeah, but let's hope it's not analogous to the AMC Pacer [wikipedia.org].

  • by Optic7 (688717) on Monday September 26, 2011 @10:51AM (#37516348)

    The countless delays just lead me to think that there were too many problems with this new design or application of technology.

    • A great way to get innovative technology into use without delay is to test it too little.

      Would you want to fly in the airplane equivalent of KDE 4.0 or the first Unity Ubuntu desktop?

      Seeing as how Airbus has been selling a lot during the 787 development I get the feeling that Boeing actually gets lots of integrity points out of all this.

      • Yes, there is rushed development and then there is long delayed development where somehow they can't figure it out and someone decides to launch it just to get it out of the door. Like say, a shuttle launch. No matter what the engineers say.

        Boeing has killed a lot of people with stupid design flaws and cost cuttings, most aircraft companies have. Lets wait a bit to see if this will be a turkey or an eagle.

    • by Gumber (17306)

      Aeronautical engineers involved with civillian passenger aircraft seem to have an appropriately conservative attitude about risk. That doesn't mean that there won't be problems when they try to innovate, but I have a hard time imagining that the 787 will actually go into commercial service without thorough vetting. Its still a new design, of course, and problems will be discovered and fixed once the aircraft are in regular use.

      It may be less safe than, say, an older model with more real world use, or a ne

    • The main delay, as I remember, was manufacturing. Of course they tested the products after it was built, and found the company they hired to make the carbon fiber body made it with too many faults. So they had to correct it and try again.
      • The main delay has been quite a few things - union issues (several strikes throughout the 787s development life), manufacturing issues (subs not being able to do work right, subs not being able to do work on time, subs getting work wrong), design issues (strength issues with side-of-body wing attachment points, cracking in several spars) and performance issues (engines not yet up to contractual specific fuel consumption rates - also affecting the 747-8 as that uses the same GeNX engines).

        Boeings issue was that they wanted to not only produce a revolutionary aircraft, but they wanted to do it on a tight budget and completely change the way they both designed and built the aircraft. Not a good idea to switch all three critical parts of the journey on a brand new product...

        So now, they paid the price - they had to write off the first three aircraft built (OEMs never want to do that, its a several hundred million dollar decision), the next 25 or so are overweight and have engines that don't meet fuel burn (but the aircraft itself has better-than-expected aerodynamics, offsetting some of the performnace issues), and while the engine manufacturers are putting together PIPs (performance improvement packages) for the engines, those early build aircraft won't get to see them for 5 or more years.

        • by Nimey (114278) on Monday September 26, 2011 @02:40PM (#37519160) Homepage Journal

          Boeings issue was that they wanted to not only produce a revolutionary aircraft, but they wanted to do it on a tight budget and completely change the way they both designed and built the aircraft. Not a good idea to switch all three critical parts of the journey on a brand new product...

          There's actually historical precedence for why completely changing the build process at the same time you're coming up with a new design is a Bad Idea: during WWII the Germans designed a revolutionary new Type XXI U-boat, which was the first submarine to be faster underwater than on the surface, featured hydraulic reloading of torpedoes instead of having the crew manhandle them, etc.

          Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for /us/) they had the bright idea to manufacture the new U-boats in sections and then assemble them at the dockyards, as opposed to the previous practice of building the whole thing at the factory then shipping it to the naval base. They couldn't get the tolerances tight enough so none of the Type XXI U-boats were able to sortie before the war ended, because they couldn't assemble the sections together properly.

          If they'd stuck with the original build process for the XXI and perfected the new process on a new separate line of older-model U-boats, things would have been a bit more difficult for us during the late Battle of the Atlantic.

    • by Boronx (228853)

      I think you're right. After looking into how much they shook up the old design process, I'm not getting in one until they've flown a few thousand times.

      • Won't be long then before they've flown a few thousand times, Boeing passed the 1,000 flights mark earlier this year just in its test phase...

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Shrug. Better too late than too soon.

  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Monday September 26, 2011 @10:53AM (#37516362) Homepage Journal
    I'm not a materials chemist, but I'm pretty sure graphene doesn't quite meet the definition of "plastic." I guess the criteria aren't as well-established as I'd assumed. Long live the all-devouring synecdoche.
    • by grommit (97148)
      graphene? production level carbon fiber composites do not currently have graphene in them.
      • And... then I looked even sillier. Thanks.
        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          Even if there was graphene odds are that it would still be embedded in epoxy. So the term plastic would work. The truth is that this is a "composite" but the world seems to believe that there is only four solds. plastic, metal, glass, and wood. Funny thing is that this is composites are a lot like wood and some of them will even use balsa as a core.

    • No graphene anywhere in this (or any other) plane. You are confusing something.

      The composite material are carbon fibers (essentially burned nylon), not graphene, nanotubes, buckyballs or anything similarly exotic. This is then drenched in polymer resin and backed. The polymer resin is the heaviest component in the overall composition.

  • by blahbooboo (839709) on Monday September 26, 2011 @10:54AM (#37516374)

    No thanks, I will wait for the first crash/accident before I fly on one...

    • No thanks, I will wait for the first crash/accident before I fly on one...

      Using your logic one is a guinea pig on *every* flight, new design or old, fresh off the manufacturing line or in the fleet for a while. More aircraft have probably gone down to pilot error, mechanic error, or management (ex lack of proper maintenance) than have gone down to designer error. That said, being a guinea pig for the airlines is safer than being a potential target for an idiot on the highway. Life is full of risks, one has to leave mom's basement sometimes. :-)

      • by Dunbal (464142) *

        Using your logic one is a guinea pig on *every* flight, new design or old, fresh off the manufacturing line or in the fleet

        Yeah, we call him the "test pilot".

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Mom's basement isn't necessarily safe either, don't forget about carbon monoxide poisoning and exposure to radon. Not to mention what happens if you're trapped down there when there's a sudden flood. http://www.seattlepi.com/default/article/Woman-dies-in-flooded-basement-1222646.php [seattlepi.com]

      • by eth1 (94901)

        Actually, using his logic, the only planes/airlines he'll never fly on are the perfectly safe ones. :)

      • by radtea (464814)

        Using your logic one is a guinea pig on *every* flight, new design or old, fresh off the manufacturing line or in the fleet for a while.

        He said nothing of the kind. A sensible reading of his comment is that until there has been at least one failure there is a significant risk that there are undetected problems with the aircraft. Given the novelty of the design this is not unreasonable at all.

        I know /. no longer has many actual technical people on it, but any technical person should know that the first million hours of 787 flights have a very high probability of revealing more and more significant issues than the second million hours, and

    • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday September 26, 2011 @11:16AM (#37516624) Journal

      You might be waiting a while. The B777 was in service for 14 years before one was crashed.

    • Pick your aircraft well then, since there is a new version coming off the production lines practically every week (changes to materials, changes to structural members, enhancements to the FBW systems, enhancements to the aerodynamics packages etc etc etc. An aircraft launched in the 1980s is not built to the same designs today - there are a lot of differences...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rahst12 (1395987)
      The dreamliner has logged more flight testing and more flight-time hours testing than any other aircraft. ever. If Boeing had the remotest thought that it would crash, they'd delay and delivery a completed product, as such they are today. http://787flighttest.com/ [787flighttest.com]
  • Yet it will probably still have the outdated "No Smoking Signs".

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Most smokers seem to have to be reminded that they're not allowed to smoke by frequent, visible, almost obnoxious signs. Even then sometimes they forget....

      • by ari_j (90255)
        The average smoker also has trouble judging distances, as evidenced by the accumulation of cigarette butts right next to "no smoking within 40 feet of entrance" and similar signs.
      • by roc97007 (608802)

        I heard the new signs have a xenon flash illuminating them...

    • by ari_j (90255)
      On some recent planes, mostly smaller regional jets like the CRJ-900 and the Embraer 175, I have noticed the lack of no smoking signs. They had been replaced with "Turn Off Electronic Devices" signs, which we can only hope will be obsolete (and for the right reason) soon, as well.
    • Because its not illegal to smoke onboard an aircraft in many countries, although the airline may still ban smoking themselves.

  • by carrier lost (222597) on Monday September 26, 2011 @11:11AM (#37516546) Homepage

    Some 50 percent by weight of the 787 airframe is lightweight carbon-fibre composites that could, Boeing says, help reduce fuel costs by 20 percent.

    "Why, this thing is so dang light, I could prolly fly it with the engines off. I think I'll try..."

  • "bendy winged"? (Score:4, Informative)

    by wisebabo (638845) on Monday September 26, 2011 @11:21AM (#37516676) Journal

    What does that mean? Do the wings bend (in the vertical axis I suppose) more than normal? Or are they curved along the front or trailing edge?

    I once read somewhere that commercial jetliner wings are unbelievably strong, they can be bent almost till they touch at the top before breaking. I recall that they are tested this way, and that on occasion they are tested until failure (in a heavily shielded test facility I hope!).

    Oh well, I'm hoping that the next generation of aircraft have transparent hulls like some forecasts I think some european group made. Then airlines could market their flights as entertainment like theme park rides.

    • by rwv (1636355)

      I recall that they are tested this way, and that on occasion they are tested until failure (in a heavily shielded test facility I hope!).

      In fact, if you have seen a video online of an airplane having it's wings touch, you've seen the 787 test of this. It would surprise me if other planes have achieved the same level of flexibility.

    • Re:"bendy winged"? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 26, 2011 @11:41AM (#37516914)

      Yes, the 787s wings bend a heck of a lot more than contemporary aircraft, because they are largely composite structures with a lot of bending strength (non-composite wings have to have a lot of rigidity in them because bending too much weakens the structures).

      Aircraft wings are bend tested to a minimum of 150% maximum expected bend (so they take it to the maximum amount of bend you will ever see in an aircraft, and go past that point by another 50% - trust me, if you ever get near the 100% mark, you are already going to be unconscious in the cabin...).

      The 787 made it to the 150% mark, and well beyond.

    • by ari_j (90255)
      My understanding is that the 787's wings, under no load, curve upwards noticeably. And here is a video of the Boeing 777 wing stress test to failure [youtube.com] along the lines of what you mentioned.
    • I once read somewhere that commercial jetliner wings are unbelievably strong, they can be bent almost till they touch at the top before breaking. I recall that they are tested this way, and that on occasion they are tested until failure (in a heavily shielded test facility I hope!).

      There's quite a bit of mechanical, plumbing, and electrical inside an airplane wing, plus fuel. I doubt it's all that flexible.

    • by roothog (635998)

      Here's the video of the 787 destructive wing break test: video [youtube.com]. Nowhere close to touching. Looks like they broke at about 20 degrees above the horizontal.

    • by TopSpin (753)

      Do the wings bend (in the vertical axis I suppose) more than normal?

      Yes, 787 wings appear to flex more than conventional airliner wings. It reminds me of a composite sailplane. Here [youtube.com] is a nice video of the plane and its wings flexing.

      they can be bent almost till they touch at the top before breaking

      Wings are just metal or composites, not magic. They are rather strong, however. Here [youtube.com] is somewhat dramatic video of the 787 wing tested to failure.

      transparent hulls ... entertainment like theme park rides

      Most passengers are work-a-day schlubs that want to sleep or work and pay as little as possible for the trip. The extra cost and drama probably won't be welcome beyond certain niches.

  • by iggymanz (596061) on Monday September 26, 2011 @11:37AM (#37516870)

    Wonder if the Chinese subcontractors cut some corners ro quality to make a little more money? or the other foreign subcontractors who make up 30% of the craft?

    • by demonbug (309515) on Monday September 26, 2011 @12:32PM (#37517584) Journal

      Wonder if the Chinese subcontractors cut some corners ro quality to make a little more money? or the other foreign subcontractors who make up 30% of the craft?

      30% foreign subcontracting? Japan alone accounts for 35%,although I'm not sure if that is measured by value, weight, or what. When you fly in a 787, you will be flying on Japanese wings (made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, no less - no need for self-sealing fuel tanks on a civilian airliner, thank goodness).

      Boeing seems to be working hard at becoming an aircraft assembler more than an aircraft builder. Probably necessary in order to compete in the future with other manufacturers, really , but a hard pill to swallow for Boeing aficionados (and unions). A large part of the delays to the 787 project have had as much to do with completely rearranging their business model as with difficulties in design.

  • The 787-8 is over-weight. That's understandable on a brand new design, but the 787-9 is in the wings (sorry) and will offer a longer airplane at the same weight. Many airlines are switching their orders from the -8 to the -9 since the 787 is supposed to be about efficiency, and the -9 is more so.

    Speaking of which, as a bonus the 787 has a bleedless engine (more efficient), which means by side-effect that the cabin won't be filled with air that's been warmed by flowing through the engines. You can get all

    • I don't see the -9 stretch being offered at the same OEW (operational empty weight) as the -8, no way at all, so if you didn't mean that can you clarify which weight you meant (MTOW - nope, MFEW - again nope...)?

       

      • It was in one of the articles about the 787-8 delivery. The -8 had unexpected weight problems. The -9 is currently spec'ed on WP as being 6 tons heavier. The article said that Boeing now expected that the -8's weight problems had been solved, and the technology would be first delivered in the -9, making the first -9 an equivalent weight to the -8. Then the newer -8's would receive the weight reductions after that (which would make the -9's heavier again).

  • Its about time we hear about great advancement in fuel efficiency for planes...now maybe we can start seeing cheaper fares

    • The fuel efficiency doesn't offset the increase in costs of fuel and taxes tho...

    • Its about time we hear about great advancement in fuel efficiency for planes...now maybe we can start seeing cheaper fares

      I would expect that the best we can hope for is that fares won't rise as rapidly as they would have otherwise.

      Now if we can get the EPA to butt out of CO2 regulation, which was never any of their business in the first place, we might still be able to fly in 5 years.

  • by Bert64 (520050)

    New modern airliners, only they are so slow compared to what was available in the 1970s...
    If I'm flying a long distance, i'd rather get there in half the time than sit for hours, even if the environment is more comfortable. Time spent travelling is time wasted.

    Bring back Concorde!

    Or better yet, surely technology has improved since the 1970s that we could build something *faster* than Concorde.

    • Boeing was working on the Mach 0.98 Sonic Cruiser, but the airlines shot it down, desiring lower operating costs instead of more speed. I doubt an SST is anywhere in the near future.

      But at least a lot of tech for that went into the 787. So instead of getting more speed, we got the same speed but much more efficiency.

    • Part of the concept of the 787 is that it will reduce travel time by offering more direct flights. Hence the plane holds just 250 people but has a range of 8000 miles.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday September 26, 2011 @02:45PM (#37519214) Journal
    Boeing will never be stupid as they were with this one. They outsourced loads which is exactly what created this situation. They think that they saved money from the unions. Not even. The delay alone will set back payback about 7-8 years. However, if anybody has outages (and they will), then Boeing is going to suffer all over. Worse, they spread around the technology. Boeing has slit their own throat.
  • by xenobyte (446878) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @07:41AM (#37538440)

    From TFA:

    Economy class will see some luxury additions, with a bar, female-only lavatories and Panasonic entertainment on demand for every passenger.

    Female-only lavatories? - How can that be a good thing - in general that is. There are at least 50% men on a flight, and unless they also add some men-only toilets, they actually reduce the number of toilets available to more than half the passengers. The women can use them all but the men can't. That's neither fair nor a good thing. Besides, unless it is done for purely androphobic reasons, they won't benefit much. Women can just as easily make a mess, throw up or whatever as men. The pee on the floor issue can easily be prevented by installing sensors that pick up if you pee on the floor and if triggered locks the door and summons a flight attendant. She'll let you out and you'll then be given the choice of cleaning up yourself or be billed for it.

    Something completely different... I just watched the first episode of the new show "Pan Am" and really enjoyed the amazing recreation of the time period and its technology. What really struck me was the beautiful experience it seems to have been to fly back then. People dressed nice (both the passengers and the crew) and were treated with respect all the way, both at the airport and on the plane.

    We so badly need that these days. It's a disaster that a few stupid terrorists have made us accept to be treated like 2nd grade cattle. After all, none of the security measures currently in place (the security theater) at the airports really work (they miss like 60-80% of test items) and the highly invasive porn scanners or the equally invasive grope-search doesn't change much. Security shouldn't be a last minute thing at the airport; potential terrorists should be stopped long before they even get near an airport. I mean, currently nothing prevents a suicide bomber from lining up in the security queue and then detonate his bomb at the checkpoint. He'll still kill a lot of people who are packed there exactly because morons like him should be deterred from trying to get the bomb on the plane. If we didn't search people there, but stopped the moron while he was assembling his bomb instead, only the bomber would be a casualty if he detonated early.

Between infinite and short there is a big difference. -- G.H. Gonnet

Working...