July 9, 2007


Boeing rolls out Dreamliner for the world (Dominic Gates, 7/09/07, Seattle Times)

After five years of development, Boeing on Sunday unveiled the first 787 Dreamliner and put on a grand global show to celebrate.

The 787 was towed from the paint hangar into position outside the huge assembly bay, while inside a crowd of some 15,000 employees, customers, politicians and invited guests waited expectantly.

When the huge doors of the bay slowly opened, the crowd greeted the new jet with a great roar and a sea of raised cameras.

The market has greeted the jet with similar enthusiasm. Airlines have placed 677 firm orders to date, and jet-leasing companies are offering the Dreamliner at an astonishing premium rate of $1 million a month. [...]

Hazy also suggested the rush to buy the plane is far from over. He said big legacy carriers, such as American, Delta, United and British Airways, still haven't ordered.

"As soon as the big guys get on the train, and place orders for potentially hundreds of these aircraft, there'll be no positions available until 2015 or 2016," Hazy said.

It's that prospect, he suggested, that's fueling smaller airlines' rush to buy.

Another selling point that has suddenly taken on new importance is environmental concerns over fossil-fuel emissions. Boeing has bragged about how the 787 is quieter on takeoffs and landings, and uses 20 percent less fuel than any previous commercial jet.

Jeff Hawk, who heads the 787's environmental efforts, said Friday the Dreamliner consumes about one gallon of fuel per seat per 100 miles of travel.

"That's less than a typical sedan," said Hawk, "and a half to a third the fuel consumption of an SUV."

Note that the plane built by a capitalist company in a democracy takes into consideration the impossibility of getting airports to accept noisier planes that create even more traffic problems and require huge new runway projects.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 9, 2007 10:10 AM

L'Estat C'est Moi - Airbus Motto

Posted by: KRS at July 9, 2007 1:27 PM