The Boeing [NYSE: BA]
787 Dreamliner program today celebrates the completion of its first year since launch. During the last 12 months, the program has attracted unprecedented demand led by the historic first order for 50 airplanes from Japan's ANA (All Nippon Airways).
Through yesterday, 787 customers had announced orders and commitments for 217 airplanes.
"We are very pleased with the breadth of our customer base," said Mike Bair, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "Our customers include established operators in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America; and customers with a variety of business models -- scheduled, charter, mainline, and low-cost. Each is focused on growth and expansion with point-to-point travel to more destinations throughout the world."
Along with tremendous customer response, the 787 program continues defining the airplane, including finalizing its exterior look.
"Our designers took the concept image that reflected our aspirations for the program -- a truly unique and recognizable external shape -- and created an efficient airplane that people will instantly recognize," said Bair.
Passengers will recognize the 787 because of its distinctive nose, wings, tail and engine cowl. Inside, passengers will find bigger windows, innovative lighting, more personal space, bigger overhead bins, a lower cabin altitude during flight and improved humidity.
The 787 design team is continuing to finalize internal configuration elements of the airplane. Full firm configuration is expected to be complete this summer.
Production of the 787 will begin in 2006. First flight is expected in 2007 with certification, delivery and entry into service in 2008.
The 787 is a family of three super-efficient airplanes that will provide passengers with a better flying experience. The 787-8 Dreamliner will carry 223 passengers in three classes of seating with a range of up to 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 kilometers). The 787-3 will carry 296 passengers in two-class seating on ranges up to 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 kilometers). The 787-9, a longer version of the 787-8, will carry 259 passengers in three classes with a range of 8,300 nautical miles (15,400 kilometers).