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Aircraft Production: Weight Issues

The 787 has been troubled by excess weight since assembly of the first unit began earlier in 2006. This is typical in aviation for new aircraft during their development phase. The aircraft is first designed on computer and an empty weight is promised to customers to ensure fuel efficiency and payload obligations. However upon assembly, some parts may be manufactured with minor variances that multiplies dramatically if the part is used frequently. The first six 787s built will be overweight according to Boeing's Scott Carson, but the seventh is expected to be on target.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a mid-sized wide body, twin engine passenger airliner currently under development by Boeing's Commercial Airplanes unit and scheduled to enter service in May 2008. Boeing has more than 400 orders for the aircraft, which lists for about $150 million and up, the first deliveries of which are expected sometime in 2008. As a commercial airliner, the 787 will seat 210 to 330 passengers, depending on the airline that flies it. PrivatAir, a Swiss company that specializes in long-haul VIP flights on privately configured big planes, is definitely interested in the 787 and in having it outfitted in true luxury, according to Greg Thomas, PrivatAir's chief executive.

787 Dreamliner Executive Class

In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 will purportedly provide airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance, as the aircraft uses 20 percent less fuel for comparable missions than today's similarly sized airplane. Passengers will also see improvements with the new airplane, from a quieter interior environment with higher humidity and a lower cabin altitude, a spectrum of calm lighting to help ease time-zone transitions, large 19-inch windows that can be dimmed with a touch of a button, and bucket-style seats that offer private reclining sleep-space for increased comfort and convenience in executive class.

787 Dreamliner cabin interior

And it won't be just the passengers that benefit. Boeing also worked with airlines and pilots around the world to develop a flight deck that complements the unique improvements featured in the passenger cabin. Key features of the Dreamliner flight deck include larger displays, dual head-up displays and dual electronic flight bags.

787 Dreamliner Flight Deck

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