Boeing 787 finally delivered

Three years late, Boeing has finally delivered the first 787 Dreamliner to All Nippon Airways.

IMO, they really shot themselves in the foot by outsourcing it. Had they kept it in-house, I think it would have been delivered on time.

Perhaps, but you’re forgetting that most of the work would have been done by (cue ominous music) union workers!

Clearly, a three-year delay and a sound thrashing of the company’s reputation were a small price to pay. . . .

(Note to the sarcasm-impaired: the above should be taken with a moderate grain of salt.)

But what will the safety record of this plane be?

With *so many problems…*eh, I don wanna be the first paying passenger one to fly in one.

Or the last.

That was it, really. That’s also why they’re setting up a second line in Charleston.

Boeing is the only US company I know of where the engineers are unionized. Even though they engage in hire-in-bulk, lay-off-in-bulk practices, that’s typical of aerospace here. How bad must the work environment be there?

I’d be the first paying passenger. In fact, I’m looking forward to getting a look at one. I’ve been on just about every other airliner; I want to see how this one stacks up. During the jet age, most of the problems have been things that only manifested as the planes aged. The early comets were fine on their first flights, but the pressurization cycles led to fatigue cracks.

The 787 has a composite fuselage. The first flights will be fine. I just hope they keep an eye on how they age, what the signs of fatigue are, things like that.

IMO, the union screwed the pooch by going on strike at just the moment the economy was hitting the skids. I think it would have been better to support the aircraft and the company (and by extension, the economy) at that particular point in time.

ISTR the engineers at Lockheed had a union when I worked there (briefly) in the early-90s.

I like composites for experimental aircraft, but I like the idea of aluminum for airliners. I wouldn’t like to be riding another Comet. :wink:

But then, I remember an article about the Bellanca Viking called You Can Trust A Tree. (The Bellanca made used of wood structures.) Nobody builds wooden planes anymore.

The good news is that composite materials don’t experience fatigue (as defined by the way in which conventional materials fail over time).

The bad news is that failures tend to be catastrophic for a damaged composite part.

As someone interested in both composites and aviation, I kind of feel that seeing what these planes can do is going to be fascinating! Remember that the current fleet of Airbus planes has a lot of composite components, as does some of the Bombardier and several military planes. We already know a lot and know enough to move forward, though everyone shares the concern of the “unknown” behaviour of these materials. The general feeling is that those concerns are both mitigated by safety factors and the risks are far outweighed by the benefits in weight and other savings.

I remember when the 787 was announced. It was after Airbus announced the A-380, and Boeing opted to go for a fuel-efficient narrowbody instead of a copy of Airbus’s beached whale. Their idea was that airlines could fly between smaller airports instead of between major hubs.

Nitpick, it’s not a narrowbody - it is a widebody (twin aisles). It is however a mid-sized aircraft in the 200-300 passenger range, so the gist of your point is certainly valid.

IIRC, to date, no Bellanca has EVER had a mandatory AD on a wing spar of any aircraft they have ever built. If I have to punch CAT or some other bad turbulence in that class of airplane, give me a Bellanca…

Oh, and the Cessna AT-50 aka Bamboo Bomber aka Sky Kings original aircraft can have 1/2 inch of dry rot on the bottom of the spar & it is still air worthy…

trees is good airchines makin stuff.

In terms of looks, the 787 is a graceful gazelle against the ugly whale of the Airbus 380.

But its no match for a 747 for a classic look either; the original design for the 787 would have at least caught you eye with the nose, cockpit windows, and shark-fin tale.

Had the Sonic Cruiser been economically viable, it would have killed in the looks department. This is exactly the kind of plane you want to have in the 21st Century. It looks more like a rocket than a plane.

In the OP link pic, it looks as if it’s being attacked by an uncloaking Klingon warship.

Awww…I like the look of the A-380. The wing curvesare beautiful.

I think the 787 has an ugly nose; the word “gazelle” does not come to mind! It does have a wonderfully skinny wing, though.

What would be a better time to go out on strike? Boeing want to rape the machinists thinking we would not strike because of the economy. I hate the thought of going out on strike but it had to be done. If we had not gone out on strike, not one thing would have changed when it came to the 787. It still would have been delivered 3 years late.

racer72, Boeing employee and union member.

You have a different perspective than I. ISTM that that strike was the straw that drove the Camel South. Not that I disagree that Boeing would have taken all they could from the workers. It’s just that my impression from the outside is that 2008 was a bad time for it to happen.

The 787 would still have been late, as you say. Boeing should have kept it in-house.

In this world where were are practically pre-programmed at birth to pursue the cheapest option for everything, nothing short of a miracle is going to prevent Boeing from outsourcing.

There might be a move to do things ‘‘in-house’’, but don’t expect it soon from too many companies. It will require a cultural shift of epic proportions.

As for the Airbus and Boeing shapes: I’d love to see consumer feedback The shape matters to a company image, and there are certain nuances that are hard to measure, but I believe have a huge impact on each company. People, including consumers and purchases of airliners, aren’t 100% objective… so bias comes into play… so when a plane has a certain shape that is just overall ‘better’, it has to help… not matter what anyone says about more objective data.


Yeah, yeah, I just want to know if the dreamliner has comfortable economy seats!

To be acurate, Boeing delivered the plane to ANA today. It took off 45 minutes late from Paine field at 7:15 this morning.

It still isn’t certified to carry passengers in the US.

racer72 is correct. The public line from Boeing corporate was that the strike was to blame for one (of many) of the schedule slides. But this is because Boeing writes contractual clauses into their airplane sales that they are not penalized for delays caused by labor negotiations. There were long known supply-chain problems kept under wraps, conveniently announced after the strike was used as the schedule scapegoat.