Watch Boeing launch the 787 live
July 6, 2007 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Boeing launches its new plane, the 787, this weekend: 07/08/07. Check it out now or watch it live on Sunday.
posted by salishsea (46 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It does seem like Boeing has done a pretty good job with this one.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:48 PM on July 6, 2007


It's interesting watching the ebb and flow of Boeing and Airbus. Some competition has done them both some good.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:51 PM on July 6, 2007


It's also been interesting watching the coverage of Boeing in the Seattle Times. I realize Boeing is a major employer in the region, but the boosterism has been more than a little astonishing. Lots of rah-rah Boeing articles. Lots of LOL-Airbus-production-lines-suck articles.

Funny, but you don't see the same rates of pro- or anti-Microsoft articles from the same rag.

Boeing must have a better PR staff. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:59 PM on July 6, 2007


The 787 has a HUD which will make the pilots more effective in dog fighting with other airliners.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:00 PM on July 6, 2007 [3 favorites]


watch it live sitting on a tarmac. they don't even have it screwed together yet. this is pathetic.
posted by bhnyc at 2:06 PM on July 6, 2007


bhnyc, I'm not a Boeing fanboy or anything, but I think their intention is to show how the thing is assembled (since they've contracted with suppliers from all over) for everyone.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:09 PM on July 6, 2007


I hope Boeing have finally seen the wisdom of putting the autopilot in a recess.
posted by Flashman at 2:10 PM on July 6, 2007


Dont forget to check out the photos of it leaving the assembly hangar for the paint hangar.

Its also Boeing Family week - from 7/1/7 on Sunday up to 7/8/7 on Sunday.

Go Boeing!
posted by SirOmega at 2:20 PM on July 6, 2007


I realize Boeing is a major employer in the region, but the boosterism has been more than a little astonishing. Lots of rah-rah Boeing articles. Lots of LOL-Airbus-production-lines-suck articles.

Are you new to the area? A couple of observations:

1. that city has the worst fucking local news of any place I've ever lived. You get a 4.5 temblor, and they're pre-empting an entire day's programming with calls to retirees in Puyallap who report that books fell of their shelves, and
2. yeah, according the the Post, the P-I, the Weekly, KIRO, King5, etc. Microsoft, Amazon.com, Starbucks, Boeing, Weyerhaueser, are ALL THE GREATEST COMPANY IN TEH WORLD. And don't you forget it, buster.
posted by psmealey at 2:20 PM on July 6, 2007


*yawn*

I'm really disappointed by the lack of futuristic commercial jets. The 787 looks like every other airliner from the past 30 years. Wake me up with somebody comes out with an all-wing fuselage that I can fly in.
posted by mullingitover at 2:23 PM on July 6, 2007


I'll take higher humidity levels in the cabin over flying wing designs any day. Fly enough and you'll be surprised at the little things that you'll pay extra for.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:27 PM on July 6, 2007


1. that city has the worst fucking local news of any place I've ever lived.

as well,

Microsoft, Amazon.com, Starbucks, Boeing, Weyerhaueser, are ALL THE GREATEST COMPANY IN TEH WORLD. And don't you forget it, buster.

Part of the reason Seattle is home to such great companies is because of community support like this. It's all about helping the home team win.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:33 PM on July 6, 2007


It's no flying wing, but the original design was cooler looking. To me, it looks like a 767 designed by Elves.

The inside looks sweet enough though.
posted by salishsea at 2:34 PM on July 6, 2007


Isn't this essentially a 767-800, only with a lot more cash wasted on it?
posted by cillit bang at 2:46 PM on July 6, 2007


Isn't this essentially a 767-800, only with a lot more cash wasted on it?

No, not really. Thanks for asking, though.
posted by !Jim at 2:58 PM on July 6, 2007


Wow. Nothing calms fears of production problems like rolling out an unfinished plane.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:10 PM on July 6, 2007


The abject suckiness of Boeing Web sites never ceases to amaze me.

Amazing that they can assemble a sky-going behemoth to sub-squillimeter tolerances and keep it safely airworthy for three-four decades, but can't figure out a few measly lines of CSS. Sigh.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:16 PM on July 6, 2007


No, not really. Thanks for asking, though.

Well could you fill us in on what's interesting about it?
posted by cillit bang at 3:25 PM on July 6, 2007


Well could you fill us in on what's interesting about it?

All composite materials. Unique planning and production methodology where major parts (i.e. the wing) are created elsewhere and snapped together in final assembly. Significantly improved fuel efficiency. Lots of other new schtuff under the hood.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:35 PM on July 6, 2007


If the 787 actually achieves one of its stated goals of linking smaller/mid-sized cities without needing to have everyone in the world connect through, like, three airports in the northern hemisphere that are all closed by snowstorms on the same day, then good on Boeing.

It's actually a pretty good strategy, considering the A380's yield-destroying capacity on everyone who plies the major routes that are already insanely saturated won't really create amazing conditions for the purchase of more planes in the future. Especially with emerging markets and smaller countries that can't necessarily support a 747 to a major city. I could see the 787 linking cities in, say, Latin America and Asia (don't know about range, though), or Asia and eastern Europe/Africa.

Anyone know if the 787 will fit at SNA, my local airport? It's got quite a restricted runway at 5700 feet, plus noise restrictions.
posted by mdonley at 3:39 PM on July 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I won't be happy until it looks like the Jet from Jonny Quest.

That. And the head rest doesn't make me feel like a massive tumor is growing on my neck.
posted by tkchrist at 3:40 PM on July 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I wish I could get excited about it, but these days new planes are all about economics rather than vision and daring imagination. This is kind of like a glorified mini-767. Phone me when someone rolls out a Boeing 2707 or A380. Or that SonicCruiser that succumbed to the bean counters.
posted by rolypolyman at 3:45 PM on July 6, 2007


(nodding at mullingitover, too)
posted by rolypolyman at 3:47 PM on July 6, 2007



Well could you fill us in on what's interesting about it?


Well, like someone else said, it's not a flying wing or anything, but it does have a few points of interest:
  • All-composite fuselage: this means that the plane is lighter, and can have higher humidity in the cabin during flight. The low humidity of flights is (supposedly, anyway) a common source of discomfort
  • Barrel fuselage: instead of assembling the fuselage from a bunch of individual aluminum sections, the 787 fuselage consists of fully-round barrels, which are joined together. This (among other things) reduces fatigue, which in turn should reduce maintenance costs, and increase time in between inspections. It is also part of the reason that the fuselage is pressurized to a lower altitude, which again should increase comfort.
  • Increased range over the 767: the max range 787 (the 787-9) has a range of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles, whereas the max range 767 (767-400ER) has a range of 5,625 nm.
  • Bleedless engines: the engines on most (all?) modern jetliners bleed some amount of compressed air to power various systems. The 787 will instead power these systems using electricity. The theory behind this is that the efficiency and weight gains from getting rid of the bleed system will lead to increased fuel economy.
  • Larger, lower windows: The windows in the 787 are somewhat larger and somewhat lower (exact numbers are available on the interwebs) than other aircraft. This means that you'll be able to see the horizon, even in the aisle seat. The windows still look fairly small, but when you see them side-by-side with windows from a 747 (for example), the difference is noticeable.
I imagine there's more out there, but I think those are the highlights. I think one of the most interesting things about this aircraft will be seeing how noticeable all these changes are, and seeing how well the supposed benefits actually end up panning out. Either way though, this is not a 767.
posted by !Jim at 3:53 PM on July 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


That goofy Johnny Quest jet has more vertical stabilizer area than wing area!
posted by tss at 3:54 PM on July 6, 2007


"All-composite fuselage: this means that the plane is lighter, and can have higher humidity in the cabin during flight. The low humidity of flights is (supposedly, anyway) a common source of discomfort."

I also read that they can keep the air pressure higher - at an equivalent of 6,000 feet instead of the 8,000-8,500 they use now.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:13 PM on July 6, 2007


I look forward to sitting on the tarmac at LaGuardia for 4 hours in this shiny new plane.
posted by scblackman at 4:28 PM on July 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


economics rather than vision and daring imagination

While I completely agree that economics are key here, I wouldn't say that vision or imagination are somehow contrary to that; to me, the fact that many of the biggest legacy carriers are hunkered down in developed countries with unions and pensions and stable or shrinking domestic populations means that developing countries (and connecting traffic) are where the growth lies, and having a plane that can connect less-than-global cities that are still key to the international economy is a huge move. The 787 is designed, I imagine, at least in part to be operated by carriers based in many developing countries and many smaller developed ones - like Air New Zealand, which is the 787-9's launch customer. Here's the Wikipedia list of orders so far. Note the presence of airlines like Icelandair, LOT Polish and Royal Air Maroc, which are relatively small in a global sense, and Jet Airways and Hainan Airlines, which are relatively-new airlines out of India and China respectively.

Look at global mega-airlines like Singapore Airlines and Emirates. Two of the reasons they've ordered quite a few A380s are because they serve to link places that wouldn't be linked except for their hubs, and because they serve very high-traffic routes, like Britain-Australia or North America-Asia. What happens to their economic model when people in smaller places - like New Zealand - no longer need their hub to reach their destination?

This could very well turn out to be a coup for Boeing, because they'll be able to give non-huge airlines the ability to skip the competition of major hubs. High-yield (ie, profitable for the airline) business travelers want non-stop flights. The 787 provides them by extending the range of mid-sized aircraft to serve lower-than-huge-traffic, loooong-haul routes (the 787-9 long-range version of the plane could fly nonstop from New York to Manila, or Moscow to Sao Paulo, say), and it does so at the right time, too - when the economy of the world is growing increasingly diverse in its centers of economic and political power.

[/amateur wonkery gained from spending too much time on Airliners.net]
posted by mdonley at 4:39 PM on July 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's funny you should be posting about this - i work at boeing -


in fact im the pilot who will be taking it out for its maiden flight on sunday - whats great about the 787 is that it has a number of new features that blah blah blah will revolutionise air travel there's the all new rubber band mechanisms that operate the engine - instead of having thirty leprechauns siiting in each wing tum te tum te tum engine pedalling furiously until you reach your destination, the new high tensile rubber band technology means hopefully this will out the paragraph and make it look completely genuine that you get more power per square inch yammer yammer with every step the little fellers take - theres also an all new pink rug on the bathroom floor and i think i may have mentioned it elsewhere but yammer blah yammer blah yammer yammer yammer the new pilot seat is much more comfortable - in fact it has a little place near the arm rest where the pilot can put his drink and newspapers should any incident suddenly arise- theres also a little round thing with a map of the world stuck on it in case we get lost.


all in all, it's been a very gruelling process and i think we'll a lot of happy faces when we finally put that bird in the air.




(when you add this to the sidebar i would suggest a snappy title like '787 pilot in boeing thread - wow !' or something like that)
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:49 PM on July 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


Been drinking some kind of cheap fruity schnapps?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:23 PM on July 6, 2007


new high tensile rubber band technology

I dig the space age salsa band music. Clearly a visionary design innovation by the human factors engineers at Boeing. It's dreadfully important that passengers be allowed to rumba like sexy ginned-up secret agents on long, yet smartly intriguing, transatlantic flights.
posted by Skygazer at 8:43 PM on July 6, 2007


This is your pilot speaking. Buckle up: I've had a few.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:44 PM on July 6, 2007


sgt. serenity.... you wag
posted by Frasermoo at 8:44 PM on July 6, 2007


*snark*

If Boeing is indeed the global corp they are, its time they adapted their promotions to the rest the of world's day/month/year convention in order to be understood without having to stop and think about it. Perhaps a NOrth American launch on July 8 and a "Rest of the World" launch on August 7th might have been a better strategy?


I just deposited an american check in a bank here in singapore and had to let the teller know that that it hadn't expired on the 7th of May but in fact had been written on the 5th of July.
posted by infini at 9:28 PM on July 6, 2007


I got to see the 787 this morning. It's pretty fascinating because upper management wants to keep the painted plane under wraps. On the other hand, they are incredibly proud of it, and want to show it off as much as possible. Generally, the proud parent wins.

Of course, I'm biased on this, but it's an amazing airplane. The one-piece fuselage barrels are very impressive up close, especially when you realize the complexity of laying them up, baking them, and then pulling them off the mandrel. (Not to mention shipping them 3,000 miles to Everett to assemble)
posted by printdevil at 1:48 AM on July 7, 2007


Boeing Blue?

I'd just like to point out that, at this point in its development, all was well and good in the A380's world. It was only afterwards that the shit hit the fan.

Looking at the 787, I don't think they'll fall into the same traps as Airbus re. cabling (although the all-electric plane concept could still be troublesome), but what concerns me is those innovative composite fuselage barrels. I know a thing or two about composites, and among them that their long-term structural properties are far more complicated and not nearly as well known as those of metals. Furthermore, inspecting and maintaining them is a real bitch, to say nothing about production. That's why Airbus, which has been making significant use of composites since way longer than Boeing, has been relatively cautious in their use in the A380 and A350. After all, they already had one bad experience. Even Boeing has got some cold feet during the 787's development: reading the successive press releases one notices a noticeable shrinkage in the announced percentage of composites (just as the initially curvy wings and stabilisers straightened on their journey from industrial designers to real aeronautical engineers).

Anyway, I'd guess that, for all the hype, Boeing also sees the 787 as a learning exercise in their way to their next plane, the successor to the 737. Now, they better get that one right...
posted by Skeptic at 3:40 AM on July 7, 2007


But why does it still have an interior that looks like it comes out of the 1970s? How come airplane cabins so lag behind the rest of design?
posted by kerplunk at 4:07 AM on July 7, 2007


Funny how with the interiors they only show the executive class, not the (presumably) cramped economy section.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:27 AM on July 7, 2007


Dang, I was hoping the seats would have that swell feature where, when a child kicks the back of one, it sprays a mist of powerful long-lasting sedative in the child's face.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:02 AM on July 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


I applaud the rubber bandinage.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:26 AM on July 7, 2007


All-composite barrel fuselage ... Increased range over the 767 ... Bleedless engines ... Larger, lower windows ...

and the economy seats look just as cramped and uncomfortable, and with as little legroom, as every other cattle-car airplane I've flown on for the last 25 years.

Color me unimpressed.
posted by chuq at 10:06 AM on July 7, 2007


Skeptic
That's why Airbus, which has been making significant use of composites since way longer than Boeing, has been relatively cautious in their use in the A380 and A350. After all, they already had one bad experience.
But there is no connection in the Airbus crash with composites, is there?
posted by uni verse at 10:32 AM on July 7, 2007


The rudder was composite.
posted by Catfry at 11:49 AM on July 7, 2007


Let me correct that.
from wikipedia:"The tail fin is connected to the fuselage with six attaching points, each set has two sets of nuts, one made out of composite material, another from aluminum which is connected by a titanium bolt, however damage analysis showed the bolts and aluminum lugs were intact but not the composite lugs."
posted by Catfry at 11:52 AM on July 7, 2007


and the economy seats look just as cramped and uncomfortable, and with as little legroom, as every other cattle-car airplane I've flown on for the last 25 years.

Seats are chosen by the airlines. Complain to them, or fly business class.
posted by !Jim at 12:46 PM on July 7, 2007


when a child kicks the back of one, it sprays a mist of powerful long-lasting sedative in the child's face

Mist? That's not good enough. Needles, damnit! I want to see needles!
posted by me & my monkey at 2:34 PM on July 8, 2007


« Older Web 2.0 effect busted   |   We has excellent TV reception Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments