Boeing 787 Dreamliner: The Next-Generation in Flight

The day has finally arrived for the next-generation Boeing 787 Dreamliner: on Monday, September 26, 2011, Boeing (BA) delivered its first 787 Dreamliner to All Nippon Airways (ANA).

The 787 Dreamliner costs $185.2 million to $218.1 million each, depending on model configuration, and seats 210 to 290 people, depending on seat configuration. It’s a mid-sized, wide-body plane with a lightweight carbon composite airframe. Flying range: 7,650-9,780 miles or 14,200-15,700 kilometers.

Analysts expect the plane to use roughly 20 percent less fuel than comparable planes and that will represent a substantial savings for airlines: jet fuel usually ranks second or first in flight expenses, just behind/ahead of employees salaries.

Further, as noted, one can’t underscore the importance of the 787 for the United States. Commercial aviation represents one, critical, high-value-added export for the world’s largest economy. Sales of commercial planes are vital to the United States’ effort to end its trade deficit and start recording trade surpluses — a key component of any nation’s wealth. Commercial plane construction is also responsible for hundreds of thousands of domestic U.S. jobs.

The 787 Dreamliner preparing for its maiden flight in December 2009. (Reuters)

The 787 Dreamliner approaching a runway for a landing. (Reuters)

The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be delivered to launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) leaves the paint hangar at Boeing’s Everett factory in Washington state. (Reuters)

A 787 Dreamliner sits on the tarmac at Boeing Commercial Airplanes manufacturing facilities at Paine Field, Everett, Wash. (Reuters)

All Nippon Airways executives from Japan pose for a group photo during the 787 Dreamliner’s certification event. (Reuters)

A 787 Dreamliner Rolls Royce engine is pictured as the aircraft sits on the tarmac at the Boeing Commercial Airplanes facility. (Reuters)

A 787 Dreamliner flies over Boeing Commercial Airplanes manufacturing facilities at Paine Field, Everett, Wash. (Reuters)

A view of the passenger cabin in the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be delivered to launch customer All Nippon Airways. (Reuters)

An All Nippon Airways employee looks at the entertainment controller while seated in the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be delivered on September 26, 2011. (Reuters)

The Cockpit of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft built All Nippon Airways is seen during a media briefing event at Haneda airport in Tokyo. (Reuters)

Hundreds of Boeing employees and media gather near a Boeing 787 Dreamliner during a ceremony to celebrate the delivery of the first 787 to customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) of Japan during a ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Everett, Wash., September 26. The delivery comes after a multi-year delay due to production issues on a project which had been in development since 2003. (Tim Stake / Boeing / Handout / EPA)

An All Nippon Airways flight attendant displays the ceremonial key to its first Boeing 787 wide-body jet following a delivery celebration, Monday, Sept. 26 in Everett, Wash. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

Boeing Co. workers and others gathered and hold up scarves that read “first delivery” and “we fly 1st” as they stand next to an ANA Boeing 787 during a delivery celebration, Monday, Sept. 26, in Everett, Wash. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

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