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Boeing’s 787 delivered three years late

Plane maker expects to build 10 planes a month until 2013 to meet demand on 300 confirmed orders


September 26, 2011
by The Canadian Press

SEATTLE—Boeing has delivered its first 787 Dreamliner jet – three years late, delayed by production and design problems.

The first 787 goes to Japan’s All Nippon Airways, one of 800 jets ordered.

The Dreamliner accommodates between 210 and 255 passengers, has a range of 15,200 kilometres, a 197ft wingspan and weighs in at 227,930 kilograms.

Instead of an aluminum skin, most of the 787 is covered in carbon fibre, a high-tech plastic. It will also be as much as 20 per cent more fuel-efficient than the aircraft it replaces.

The cabin is pressurized to the equivalent of 1,800 metres, instead of the usual 2,400 metres meaning air pressure will be closer to what passengers are accustomed to on the ground.

Nippon plans to begin flying the 787 from Tokyo to Okayama-Hiroshima on Nov. 11. The first international route will be Tokyo to Frankfurt starting in January.

The first U.S. customer is United Continental Holdings Inc., which will get its first 787s next year and plans to fly them between Houston and Auckland, New Zealand, and Houston and Lagos, Nigeria—“thin routes” for which there is demand but not always enough to fill larger planes. The 787’s size, fuel efficiency and range should help airlines turn a profit on those types of routes.

Boeing expects to deliver between 25 and 30 787s and new 747-8s this year. To meet increased demand, the plane-maker says it has plans to build 10 of $218-million jets per month by the end of 2013.