Hopping over to the real world momentarily, Boeing announced yesterday that it had received it's first order for it's B7E7 Dreamliner. The first order of 50 aircraft was made by ANA of Japan, and they are expected to take deliveries in 2008! We are pretty sure that we won't have to wait that long for the MSFS version to come out though!
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is one of the latest commercial passenger jet airliners developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The Dreamliner is able to seat up to 290 passengers and fly up to 8,000 nautical miles at a speed of 900 kilometers per hour, depending on the aircraft's layout and configuration. The Dreamliner is also notable for being more fuel efficient than its sibling, the 767. The aircraft first flew commercially in 2007 and continues to draw orders from major airliners around the world.
The Dreamliner was first conceptualized in the late 1990s as sales declined for Boeing's biggest sellers, the 767 and 747. The company played around with the idea of a faster passenger aircraft, but increasing fuel prices made many airlines more concerned with fuel efficiency. The name "Dreamliner" was picked from an online contest which drew in over half a million name suggestions.
One of the key manufacturing features of the 787 was its composite assembly; the fuselage would be assembled in one composite barrel as it moved down the assembly line. It would also use lightweight materials to improve fuel efficiency. The General Electric and Roll-Royce engines used on the aircraft would also boost its flight efficiency.
The aircraft suffered several production delays which pushed back it delivery dates significantly. Some of the earlier problems had to do with the excess weight on the 787 prototypes. There were also problems with regards to the aircrafts several subcontractors not being able to install the necessary systems in time. Over a period of almost two years, Boeing announced five flight delays.
The 787's maiden flight was originally scheduled for August 2007, but all of these delays pushed it back to December 2009. The first commercial Dreamliner was delivered to All Nippon Airways in September 2011 and flew its first commercial route in the same month.
The first passengers and users praised the aircraft's fuel reduction as well as the cabin amenities. To date, almost 1,000 Dreamliners have been ordered by different airline companies, with future orders being assured well into the next decade.