Boeing 787 Dreamliner Family Provides New Solutions for Airlines, Passengers

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an all-new, super-efficient family of commercial airplanes that brings big-jet ranges and speed to the middle of the market. In response to airlines’ overwhelming preference, Boeing designed the 787 family with superior efficiency, which allows airlines to profitably open new routes to fly people directly where they’d like to go in exceptional comfort. Since entering service in 2011, the 787 family is flying more than 350 routes and has established more than 75 new nonstop routes around the world.

An international team of top aerospace companies builds the 787 family, led by Boeing at its facilities in Everett, Wash. (near Seattle) and North Charleston, S.C.

Unparalleled Performance

The 787-8 Dreamliner can fly 242 passengers up to 7,350 nautical miles (13,620 km) in a typical two-class configuration. The 787-9, a stretch of the 787-8, can fly 290 passengers 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 km) in addition to more cargo, allowing airlines the ability to grow routes first opened by the 787-8. The third and longest 787, the 787-10, will fly 330 passengers up to 6,430 nautical miles (11,910 km), or more than 90 percent of the world’s twin-aisle routes, when deliveries begin in 2018.

The 787 family is delivering unmatched fuel efficiency to our customers, keeping them competitive in this challenging economic environment. With 20 to 25 percent less fuel and 20 to 25 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes they replace, the 787 family has saved a projected 2.8 billion pounds of fuel since entering service in 2011. The 787 also travels at a similar speed as today’s fastest twin-aisle airplanes, Mach 0.85. Airlines also realize more cargo revenue capacity — a 20 to 45 percent advantage over replacement airplanes.

Passengers enjoy many improvements with the 787 family such as the industry’s largest windows; air that is cleaner, more humid and at a higher pressure for greater comfort; large overhead bins with room for everyone’s bag; soothing LED lighting; and technology that senses and counters turbulence for a smoother ride.

Advanced Technology

The key to the exceptional performance of the 787 family is its suite of new technologies and its revolutionary design.

Composite materials make up 50 percent of the primary structure of the 787, including the fuselage and wing.

At the heart of the 787 design is a modern systems architecture that is simpler, more functional and more efficient than that of other airplanes. For example, onboard health-monitoring systems allow the airplane to self-monitor and report systems maintenance requirements to ground-based computer systems.

Advances in engine technology are the biggest contributor to overall fuel efficiency improvements on the Dreamliner. The 787 features new engines from General Electric and Rolls-Royce that represent nearly a two-generation jump in technology.

The design and build process of the 787 family has added further efficiency gains. Boeing and its supplier partners developed new technologies and processes to enhance efficiency. For example, manufacturing the 787-8 fuselage as one-piece sections, instead of panels, eliminated 1,500 aluminum sheets and 40,000 - 50,000 fasteners per section.

Continuing Progress

Boeing launched the 787 program in April 2004 with a record order from All Nippon Airways. Sixty customers from six continents of the world have placed orders for more than 1,000 airplanes valued at more than $275 billion, making the 787 the fastest selling twin-aisle airplane in Boeing history.

More than 50 of the world’s most capable top-tier supplier partners bring innovation and expertise to the 787 program. These suppliers have been involved since the early detailed design phase of the program and are connected virtually at 135 sites around the world.

Boeing began 787 final assembly in Everett in May 2007 and in North Charleston in July 2011. First flight of the 787-8 was Dec. 15, 2009, followed by certification in August 2011 and first delivery to launch customer ANA on Sept. 25, 2011. The 787-9 first took flight on Sept. 17, 2013, launching a comprehensive test program that led to certification and first delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand in June 2014.

Today, progress continues with the third and longest 787, the 787-10. Launched in 2013, Boeing completed detailed design for the super-efficient 787-10 in December 2015 and is on track for first delivery in 2018.