Boeing unveils assembled 787 jet

  • Everett (WA) – Boeing today showcased the first assembled 787 Dreamliner jet in an unveiling attended by about 15,000 people.

    "In our business, that happens every 15 years or so, so you've got to get it right," commented Boeing vice president and general manager of the 787 program Mike Bair on the new plane, which is scheduled to be delivered to first customers in May of next year.

    The 787 fits in a time where a view on the environment becomes more and more important, as Boeing stresses that the jet will use 20% less fuel per passenger than similarly sized airplanes, produce fewer carbon emissions, and will have quieter takeoffs and landings.

    The first version of the 787, the 787-8, can be configured to carry between 210 and 250 passengers on routes of 7650 to 8200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 km). The company also plans to offer a 787-3 for 290 to 330 passengers and 2500 to 3050 nautical miles (4600 to 5650 km) as well as a 787-9 for 250 to 290 passengers and a range of 8000 to 8500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 km) in 2010.

    Several months before its availability, the 787 – which is positioned between the short range 737 and the larger 777 – already appears to become Boeings most successful commercial airplane. 47 airlines have placed orders 677 planes valued at more than $110 billion so far. The list price for each plane is about $165 million.

    The first airline to get a 787 jet will be All Nippon, which expects delivery in May of 2008. Airlines that have placed the biggest orders are Qantas (Australia) with 85 units, Air Berlin (Germany) with 25 and Alafco (Kuwait) with 22 planes.