The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is not the largest plane in the world. Nor is it the fastest. It doesn’t have on-board showers or full-size beds, nor can it lay claim to the greatest range or sleekest entertainment system in the air. But it will change the way we fly for decades to come. Boeing’s latest commercial airliner is several feet wider and longer than the 767, the company’s smallest wide-body (twin-aisle) jet, yet it’s 20 percent more fuel efficient. Given that fuel is the single greatest operating cost for any airline, savings of that magnitude could return the industry to profitability, and perhaps even usher in lower airfares for passengers.
But while the 787’s efficiency makes it an attractive option for airlines, it also serves up a more comfortable ride for passengers. We recently had a chance to fly on a domestic round trip between Tokyo and Okayama in Japan aboard an All Nippon Airways (ANA) Dreamliner — one of the first two ever delivered. Quieter engines, dimmable windows, LED lights, huge overhead bins, an in-flight bar and on-demand entertainment enhance comfort, even during shorter flights, while higher humidity, a greater internal pressurization level and a gust alleviation system reduce the effects of turbulence. Care to take a ride? Jump past the break to join us on board Boeing’s brand new Dreamliner.
Gallery: Boeing 787 Dreamliner exterior