The Boeing 787-9 is a twin-engine long-range widebody aircraft. The aircraft started commercial operations with ANA on October 26, 2011. The name of the plane was chosen in 2003 by Boeing, which would be a game-changer for many airlines. It was a dream come true for many airlines to be able to enable routes that weren't possible for the same type of aircraft.
Scott Fancher, the general manager of the 787 programs, held his ticket on the day of delivery.
I have been waiting for this slip of paper for a long time. Relax! As you are the first to experience this new standard in aviation, take it all in.
Scott Fancher was the general manager of the B787 program.
The journey was not all roses for the plane. It has been ten years since the aircraft entered into commercial service. Is the aircraft a dream or a nightmare for airlines?
The birth of a plane.
In the early 2000s, airlines weren't very fond of Boeing 767 or 747. Fuel efficiency was the main focus of the demand, along with rising demand for point-to-point transit. There was a need for an aircraft that could fly long-haul flights and land in a small airport. Boeing developed a new aircraft called the Dreamliner.
Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at Teal Group, says that the 787 did a great job getting people where they really wanted to go.
"This jet took them directly to where they wanted to go, which definitely stimulated international traffic," Aboulafia said.
50 aircraft were ordered by ANA in 2004. The new widebody was expected to be 20% more efficient than the Boeing 767. Boeing had to modify four of the jumbo jets into Dreamlifters since components for the new plane were coming from all over the world. The modified jumbo jets would carry large sections of the same type as the 787, making the process much quicker.
The first prototype was rolled out in 2007. The aircraft had over 600 orders. After the flight testings were completed, the first Dreamliner was delivered to ANA.
There is a plane inside.
The aircraft is made of around 80% composite materials. It is more fuel efficient and contrasting because of the different external features. The control system is fly-by-wire.
The data between the flight deck and aircraft systems can be transmitted via the internet. The width of the cabins is larger than that of 767. It's close to.
The cockpit of the 787 is different from other Boeing aircraft. The classic yoke was still there. One of the largest windows in a civilian aircraft is found in the windows of the 787. Operators fly the Dreamliner in 1000 routes around the globe.
The benchmark was set by the 787. The scope of how much it would change expectations for commercial aircraft was not fully realized, according to Boeing's director of product marketing. At the time of its launch, the Dreamliner met all expectations.
There are problems faced by the plane.
There were a lot of problems that were caused by the fact that 787 was never involved in a serious accident that led to the death of people. After its commercial flights started, issues soon followed, being a brand new aircraft with new technologies. There were electrical failures and fuel system problems.
The aircraft had to be checked out frequently. The tail section and engines had problems. A fire broke out due to an issue with batteries. An emergency landing was performed by the aircraft which was flying for ANA. There was a similar incident with JAL. The incidents led to the grounding of the plane.
Around 50 Dreamliner were flying around the world and were all grounded. This was just the beginning. There were a lot of other issues that affected deliveries. The rate of production was reduced by Boeing to cope with the situation. The problems were caused by the plane crisis. The issues of the MAX and the 797 have fed off each other.
If the MAX crisis had not happened, the delivery suspension would have been short-lived.
Scott Hamilton is a reporter for Leeham News.
The Boeing crises gave the program a boost. Boeing would have been years ahead of the other team if the 787 had been delivered on time. Boeing's distraction by crisis after crisis has given Airbus a commanding lead in the heart of the narrow-body market.
Boeing's Sanderson is not defending the detainments, but he does stress that all Boeing 787s are safe to fly.
Dream or Nighmare?
$32billion was spent on developing the plane. Boeing estimated that it would have to deliver over 1000 aircraft to make a profit. Since the program faced many setbacks, the numbers have increased. Operators had to deal with problems since deliveries were halted several times. The aircraft couldn't be flown in peak travel seasons. Maintenance cost for big aircraft is considerable.
Boeing and its operators had to pay an expensive price for the airliner that helped make air travel more convenient. Boeing didn't deliver a plane in October. The repair cost could be $1 billion.
Boeing is committed to providing full transparency to our regulators and working with the FAA through the rigorous process to resume 787 deliveries. Boeing says they have engaged with the FAA on this issue in meetings and working sessions over hundreds of hours.
The crises made the program unprofitable again. Boeing is not the only one to lose. American Airlines can't increase its schedule due to delivery delays. This Christmas, AA won't be adding flights with the new planes. Problems with the batteries will affect flights and cost a fortune.
The 787 was supposed to be a dream come true for airlines, but it has had some trouble over the years. It offers excellent fuel efficiency, but airlines have to rearrange because aircraft aren't being delivered on time lately. Minor problems keep popping one after another, which can hurt the program in the long term.
The future of the plane.
The past ten years were full of ups and downs, but the future is still promising. There are still planes that are undelivered and new ones that are being made. The best performance is still offered by the latest technologies. The deliveries will be normalized once Boeing fixes the issues.
There has been no need to modify the plane since it fills much of the demand. In the future, we may see cargo or upgraded variant. A cargo plane might be a possibility since COVID has increased the demand. The cargo variant of the A350 is being announced.
The A321 Neo is a single-aisle jet that is the biggest risk to future orders of the 787.
The demise of the A380s and the Boeings was due to the fact that the planes were too large.
What do you think about the future of the Boeing plane? Let us know what you think in the comments.
The Experimental Boeing 777X is exclusive.