Boeing’s long-awaited dream machine became a commercial reality on Sunday when the lightweight plastic-composites 787 Dreamliner was formally delivered to its first Japanese customer.
Boeing says the revolutionary carbon fiber design will hand 20 percent fuel savings to airlines struggling to avoid a new recession, and give passengers a more comfortable ride with better cabin air and large electronically dimmable windows.
The first $200 million aircraft was handed over to Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways three years behind schedule after persistent delays that cost Boeing billions of dollars.
“It took a lot of hard work to get to this day,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, at the outset of two days of celebrations at the plane’s Seattle production plant.
The blue and white-painted long-range aircraft, which boasts a graceful new design with raked wingtips, will leave for Japan on Tuesday and enter service domestically on Oct. 26.
Boeing has taken orders for 821 Dreamliners, which will compete with the future Airbus A350, due in 2013.
FWIW, Airbus is likely to be late with the A350, that’s the way of such endeavors, but it is unlikely to be as late, because EADS is not determined to shift all of its expertise to poorly supervised outside firms in order to hit quarterly numbers.
Additionally, EADS has had nearly a decade to watch the missteps Boeing made in implementing the advanced technology of the aircraft, and so should be able to avoid some of them. (You know, little things like not having enough of the proper fasteners available).
Boeing, after having taken over McDonnell Douglas, after the path taken by that company, single source “risk bearing partners”, made them irrelevant in commercial aviation, decided to traipse down the same insane path.
EADS, by virtue of being what amounts a national champion in aerospace for the EU, cannot take this path, and so its ability to completely f%$# things up is somewhat more limited.