The Boeing 787 Dreamliner represents a quantum leap in aircraft design. It incorporates composite materials instead of predominantly aluminum, and is equipped with revolutionary systems that make it the leader in the long-haul aircraft category.
Features and their resulting advantages to the customer are as follows:
Structural Composites: The use of these materials result in lightweight, fuel economy and extended range.
Electromechanical Brakes: Compared to older hydraulic brakes, these are lighter and have increased reliability.
Large size: The aircraft can carry more fuel, cargo and passengers.
Pressurization: Because of the composite technology, less pressurization is needed than in conventional aircraft. The result is that passengers feel less of a sense of jet lag.
Spaciousness: The cabin design incorporates increased legroom and added amenities such as lounges.
Environmentally “Green”: The Dreamliner used 20% less fuel per passenger. This results in fewer carbon emissions and quieter takeoffs and landings.
Structural Superiority: Compared to aluminum designs, composite technology provides improved structural strength and durability. The result is longer aircraft life, less maintenance, corrosion resistance and less susceptibility to structural fatigue.
Systems powering: The Dreamliner has far less reliance on bleed-air powering of onboard systems. Instead of bleeding hot air from the engines to provide power, the 787 has converted these systems to a largely electric architecture. This results in improvements in engine start, auxiliary power, de-icing, cabin pressurization and hydraulic pumps.
Computing Systems: An advanced maintenance control system improves troubleshooting.
Selective Paint Stripping: The composite body allows chemical stripping of paint from the aircraft skin (no longer requiring hand sanding).
Electrochromic Dimmable Windows: Providing added passenger comfort.
Interchangeable Engine Types: The composite wing design facilitates interchange of engine types to the specifications of the customer.
Quick Reparability: The composite materials allow quick repair in the event of minor damage, allowing quick repairs at the gate.
High-intensity LED Interior Lighting: Provides improved interior lighting with lower energy consumption.
Reduced Maintenance: Design permits overall reduction in required scheduled maintenance: Compared to earlier aircraft, the 787 offers a 30% reduction in airframe and system maintenance requirements (and costs).