The new Boeing 787 completes first flight

The latest and largest Dreamliner from the Boeing company, the 787-10, successfully made it’s maiden flight on Friday April 7th 2017 (7.4.17 - am I the only one, or do you see the casual link to 747?). This jet is the third jet in the Dreamliner family, where 787-8 (debut 2011) and 787-9 has been rolled out previously. The current asking price for the new 787-10 Dreamliner is listed at US$312.8 million.†

The test flight was successful according to it’s Captain, Captain Tim Berg. The aircraft had performed exactly like they thought it would.†

Because of it’s large size, the 787-10 will be built at the Boeing factory in North Charleston, South Carolina, USA. The facility is Boeing’s largest jetliner assembly factory outside of Washington state and, in contrast to the others, is not unionised. Major components such as wings, fuselage sections and rudders for the Dreamliner comes from companies in countries like Japan, China, Italy, Sweden, France as well as Britain.

The aircraft can be fitted with GE engines or RR engines as per customers wishes, and the fuel efficiency is promised to be great with any of the two engine manufacturers.†

The 787-10 is some 5.5 meters longer than the 787-9 and has a seating capacity of 330 passengers - 40 more than the 787-9 and 88 more than the 787-8.†

The 787 has so far become a best-seller, with some 1.200 firm orders as many airlines are opening new point-to-point routes (direct routes between smaller cities). To fight the market share Boeing gains with the 787, Airbus is pressing a remake of their older, aluminium-fuselage A330 equipped with new more fuel efficient engines, and selling it as A330neo. Even though sales for both the B787 and A330neo was brisk, the sale has slowed down a bit. Airbus has managed to sell only 220 of it’s A330neo aircrafts so far. The 787-10 has booked a total of 149 firm orders from nine customers, about 12% of the total 1.200 firm orders for the 787-program, while the 787-9 has taken an approximately 50% number of the 787-program.

The first paying customers are expected to board the first 787-10 some time in 2018. †

Photo credit: Boeing Co Via EPA

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