First Boeing 787 lands in Japan

2011-09-28 11:53

Tokyo - The first Boeing 787 landed on Wednesday in Tokyo where launch customer All Nippon Airways will prepare the long-delayed aircraft for its inaugural commercial flight.

The plane took off from Everett, Washington on Tuesday morning to cheering workers after a three-year delay in bringing the new wide-body jetliner to market. Boeing missed the initial May 2008 delivery target and had repeatedly delayed its introduction because of problems in development.

The plane goes into service on October 26 with a special charter flight from Narita International Airport to Hong Kong. ANA will begin using the 787 on regular domestic routes on November 01.

The new jet is the first commercial airliner built using carbon fibre - a strong, lightweight, high-tech plastic - rather than the typical aluminium skin. It is quieter and uses about 20% less fuel than a comparably sized aluminium aircraft.

Airlines have ordered more than 800 of the planes that will compete with the Airbus A350.

ANA, the world's eighth-largest airline by revenue, considers the 787 an important part of its global expansion efforts. Because of its extended range, ANA plans to use it on a number of new long-haul routes that were not commercially viable because passenger numbers weren't sufficient to justify larger aircraft such as the Boeing 747.

The 787 cabin will have bigger windows and larger overhead compartments. ANA also says passengers will be more comfortable because air pressure during flights will be equivalent to an altitude of 6 000 feet instead of the conventional 8 000 feet.

"This airplane has great potential for the future, and I feel that it will change things for the aviation industry," said ANA pilot Hideaki Hayakawa.

  • Freddie One - 2011-09-28 12:41

    "The first Boeing 787 landed on Wednesday in Tokyo" Not quite. The 'first' one is still at Boeing, they use it for testing things, this was the first customer one.

      letsee - 2011-09-28 13:06


      betha - 2011-09-28 14:13

      wow your logic is outstanding

      letsee - 2011-09-28 17:36

      Freddie One, actually 7 were built (prototype and testing) and the news state that the first 787 was delivered, meaning the first delivered and not the first assembled. So, you misinterpreted the whole story.

  • Kapnschtaten - 2011-09-28 15:11

    Interessting, Carbon Fibre is by nature very brittle, albeit very strong, but brittle non the less. I wonder how they managed to overcome the constant flexing of the wings, due to the obvious high pressures created by high wind resistance? IMO I'd think minute stress fractures would become an issue? And if so how could you detect tiny cracks or fractures? I would think aluminium has always been the way to go as it is light and has flex.... Then again, I'm certainly no expert, what do I know?! :)

      michael.v.kesteren - 2011-09-28 16:20

      The beauty of using a composite fiber is that the minimum amount of material is used to the maximum effect. Fibers are laid down in the directions they're needed. While, yes, the fiber itself is quite brittle perpendicular to it's length, under tensile and compression it's immensely strong (try pulling a strand apart along it's length. Won't work. Tie a knot in it, however, and it'll break like a human hair..). Now while yes, the fiber has it's physical limitations, the matrix it's embedded in, the epoxy resin, has a certain level of flex to it. Also, when and where needed, carbon fiber will be used in combination of the more flexible aramid (kevlar..). Aluminium, while extremely light and durable, will always be heavier than a composite material because it's tensile and compression strength is omni-directional, so the strength per cross section is always compromised by comparison. Composite materials aren't new at all though. On most, if not all, modern airliners, control surfaces and panels have been made from composite materials since the early 80's. In fact, the flexibility that composite materials offer can be used to great advantage. They'll allow for a much higher G-loading, which will lessen the effect of severe weather compromising the structure of the aircraft..

  • pages:
  • 1