He Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Its variants seat 210 to 290 passengers. Boeing states that it is the company’s most fuel-efficient airliner and the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe. The 787 has been designed to be 20% more fuel efficient than the 767 it is to replace. The Dreamliner’s distinguishing features include mostly electrical flight systems, a four-panel windshield, noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles, and a smoother nose contour.
It shares a common type rating with the larger 777 twinjet, allowing qualified pilots to operate both models, due to related design features. The aircraft’s initial designation was 7E7, prior to its renaming in January 2005. The first 787 was unveiled in a roll-out ceremony on July 8, 2007, at Boeing’s Everett assembly factory, by which time it had reached 677 orders; this is more orders from launch to roll-out than any previous wide-body airliner. By November 2012, the 787 program had logged 844 orders from 57 customers, with International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) having the largest number on order. Development and production of the 787 have involved a large-scale collaboration with numerous suppliers around the globe.
Final assembly is at the Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Washington. Assembly is also taking place at a new factory in North Charleston, South Carolina. Both sites will deliver 787s to airline customers. Originally planned to enter service in May 2008, the project has suffered from multiple delays. The airliner’s maiden flight took place on December 15, 2009, and completed flight testing in mid-2011. Final Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification was received in late August 2011 and the first model was delivered in late September 2011. It entered commercial service on October 26, 2011.
The aircraft has suffered from early in-service problems, notably fires on board related to its lithium-ion batteries. These systems are being reviewed by both the FAA and the Japanese aviation agency. On January 16, 2013, the FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive that grounds all 787s in the U.S. The EASA, Japanese Transport Ministry, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and Chile’s Dirección General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC) followed suit and grounded the Dreamliners in their jurisdictions. Boeing completed its final tests on a revised battery design in April. The FAA approved the revised battery design on April 19, 2013.