Boeing introduces the new Dreamliner jet

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Boeing's new Dreamliner passenger jet made a stop in Philadelphia Wednesday. It's 20% more fuel efficient, and that's just for starters.

With its long graceful wings and smooth nose it is visually stunning. The first 787 to land in Philadelphia arrived on Tuesday. Wednesday, it was open for local Boeing staffers, suppliers and reporters to tour.

Boeing pitches the wide body as passenger friendly with a small lobby when you walk in the door.

"One thing you notice when you enter the airplane is the wide open architecture; the welcoming interior," said Richard Wynne. "It brings back the magic of flight."

The sense of space continues, not just in first class, but also in the cheap seats which are 3-3-3 across. Overhead are enormous bins for carry-ons or maybe a small office.

A lot of focus in this plane is on the windows; first they are 30 percent bigger. They are also higher in the beltline; you don't have to scrunch over to look out. And then there is the new feature of no shade on the windows. If you want to darken it, you just push a button. It is an electronic process and takes several seconds.

Dubbed the Dreamliner, this is the first large airliner not made primarily of aluminum. The fuselage, the main body, is a single tube of Carbon Fiber reinforced plastic.

One advantage is the normally dry cabin air that passengers complain about can be humidified, but that is something that would cause corrosion in an aluminum plane.

Add a new generation of quiet engines, and Boeing says long distance flying in the 787 will be less stressful.

"It is a smoother, more comfortable ride," said Captain Doug Benjamin. "When you get off the airplane, you will be more refreshed. You may not notice at first, but you will just feel a lot better about it.

So when will 787's begin operating in Philadelphia with paying customers? Philadelphia service has yet to be announced.

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