Boeing's Dreamliner (and future) ready for prime time

Boeing is poised to take the 787 Dreamliner on its first flight weather permitting and there's a lot of technology getting off the ground.

Boeing is poised to take the 787 Dreamliner on its first flight weather permitting and there's a lot of technology getting off the ground.

The Dreamliner is made of new composite materials, features new manufacturing techniques and has had its share of hiccups. Now the Dreamliner is ready for flight and airlines looking to save on fuel are lining up for it.

Smart Planet's John Dodge is our man on the scene for the first Boeing flight. He'll be bringing you live coverage as the Dreamliner takes off and presumably gets one of the plush seats to the right. Dodge is a tech veteran who has covered Boeing for years. He'll be updating us on the Dreamliner's progress on Smart Planet and ZDNet as needed.

As Dodge notes in a blog post walking us through the Dreamliner's basics.

The forward fuselage barrel made from composites replaces 1,500 sheets of aluminum and requires 40,000-50,000 fasteners or 80 per cent fewer than in a conventional aluminum fuselage. How it holds up won’t be known for certain until it’s flown a few hundred times, but composites hold a lot of promise...

Boeing only makes 30 percent of the components while 40 tier one suppliers around the globe make the key components for the rest of it such as fuselage, wings, wingbox and tail. Those components are flow in Boeing’s massive plant in Everett, Wash. and assembled in three days into a finished plane...

The 787 is a much more electric airplane with two large generators taking over from pneumatically-driven systems. This improve fuel efficiency by 15 per cent and lowers emissions by 20 percent.

In the meantime, here's what we have so far on today's happenings:

Gallery: Boeing 787 prepares for maiden flight

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All