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New airplane alert! On Saturday, September 1, LAN Airlines picked up its very first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, becoming the first in the Americas to operate the aircraft. From the factory to the runway at Boeing's Paine Field in Everett, WA, we were there to kick the tires, put the seats back and get a feel for her. Stay tuned the next couple days for more Dreamliner dispatches.
It's been nearly one year since the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner flew off into the blue skies above Boeing's factory on its way into commercial service. And, in that year, not one airline in the Americas has gotten their hands on the American-made aircraft. Until now. Until Chile's
Why's it such a big deal anyway? Oh, well, aside from years of hard work and billions of dollars behind it, the 787 has some nifty features passengers will notice right away. For one, there's ginormous auto-dimming windows made possible by the plane's construction of composite materials. Another: the 30% increase in overhead bag storage space. Yet more: less engine noise, less CO2 emissions, the addition of humidity to that horribly dry cabin air, and the ability to pressurize the cabin at a lower altitude to cut down on headaches and fatigue. Enoughlet's go inside already!
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You know what happens when you buy a brand new airplane from Boeing? It's not as simple as signing a contract, doing a massive money transfer and picking up the plane out back. Nopea new aircraft delivery involves ceremony, months and months of planning for a single flight to start the plane into service, and yeseven a little key.
Tomorrow, LAN Airlines becomes the fourth carrier to receive a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and first in the Americas. It's a pretty big deal and, as the United States will be seeing routes down to Chile on her before 2012 is over, we've hightailed it out to Everett, WA to check out what LAN has in store for their fresh bird.
Here's how to follow along for all our hot and bothered LAN 787 Delivery excitement:
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It feels like we've been talking about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner since the beginning of time. It has been a whopping eight years since the first order for the new airplane came in, when, in 2004, Japan-based ANA signed up for fifty.
Though there were only 3 787s placed in the hands of airlines in 2011, this year should see some 15 delivered, including the first one to a US carrierUnited.
Even though they're not quite sure when that first plane will land in their laps, United is psyching itself up anyway. They're not doing a flashmob and there's no viral ad campaign for it quite yet, but they have done the next best thing: made an infographic.
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There’s been news here and there about airlines getting sick and tired of waiting for delayed and deferred deliveries of their Boeing 787s, but now there’s an airline finally doing something about it. Qantas is done waiting, so they called up Boeing and told them that they’d be cancelling their order—for 35 of them.
It sounds like it was more of a financial decision than anything, as Qantas is trying to cut costs and save cash as they look to dig themselves out of the red and back into the black. For those dreaming of seeing the 787 with a kangaroo on its tail—don’t panic! As of now Qantas is only cancelling its orders for the Boeing 787-9, but they’re still moving forward with their order for 15 of the 787-8. However, those might just end up doing some heavy lifting for their JetStar airline, so we’ll have to stay tuned to see how things shake out.
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We now know what United’s very first Boeing 787 Dreamliner looks like and we’ve got to admit that she’s a real beauty. However, the plane probably looks even better up in the air and that’s exactly what we wanted to fill you in on.
Boeing has been working overtime to get these planes done—well, pretty much all the 787s—and United should have five of the 787s in their hot little hands before 2012 rolls to a close. Flight attendants, mechanics, and pilots have already started to train on the simulator in Houston in preparation for the 787's arrival.
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A 767 wing on the return trip
Note: This story is a review of a trip including several segments, one of which was on a 787. Max also flew on a 767 and included this wingtip photo with the gallery as a whole trip. This was not made clear when first published, but explains the 767 image above.
International DJ, frequent flyer extraordinaire and Jaunted contributor Max Graham just flew from Tokyo to Hong Kong and it happened to be on one of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Here, he drops his thoughts on the ANA flight:
Pre-flight, in the lounge:
It began in Canada, flying up over the country and down into Tokyo onboard an Air Canada 777. Thanks to my Star Alliance status, I headed straight for the ANA lounge at Narita, which is not huge but just lovely with very pleasant local staff. Technically my first stop, in preparation for boarding the 787, was the lounge shower. Thankfully these are as nice as many showers in boutique hotels, complete with the awesome Japanese heated toilet contraption that’s a must for any “lost in translation” traveler.
Other awesome bits that put me in an great mood was the six noodle bowl options, free wifi and a nice cold Sapporo after the shower. Sadly the lounge's Sake Bar was closed (I was there in the morning), but it seemed quite well set up, again feeling like a bar within a cool boutique hotel.
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Oh hey, guess what!? Thomson Airways will not only be the first UK airline to take delivery of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner when theirs rolls onto a runway in spring 2013, but they're also claiming the fame of being first airline to allow the public to name one of the fancy-schmancy new birds.
That's rightit's a plane-naming contest! And it starts now.
How to enter:
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If you haven’t had the pleasure of flying aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner just yet that may be a good thing, as future flights could include jelly beans and ice cream sandwiches. Of course we’re not talking about in-flight meals, but rather the different versions of the Android operating system.
Boeing recently showed off that the little Android critter has infiltrated the in-flight entertainment system of some of their new 787s. Specifically, a Qatar Airways plane demoed an Android-based entertainment system, as it sounds like Android will be the system of choice for a couple of different entertainment providers. Both the Thales TopSeries Avant and the Panasonic eX systems are scheduled to utilize Android up in the air, and it’ll eventually be found in as many as 850 planes.
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The livery, pictured above and below, is the modern United look, but with the addition of a gold swooped cheatline inspired by Boeing's original Dreamliner paint scheme.
Suspense has been building for the livery ever since last fall, when we dropped by the 787 Assembly in Everett, WA and spotted United's Dreamliner fuselage making its way down the factory line. So, what do you think?
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When it comes to Boeing and their 787 Dreamliner, any and all complaints are usually about delivery delays to the customer airlines; however, now it looks like one of the airplane’s first customers has a little bit of a new complaint (which could just be a PR move anyway). All Nippon Airways—or ANA to their friends—was the first airline to start flying the new plane, but after a few months they’ve already found something worth whining about.
Apparently they’re not too keen on the auto dimming window shades on the 787. This is kind of a bummer, as it seems like this was one of the recognizable features of the new plane—and it definitely brought a little bit of a wow factor for passengers experiencing it for the first time. The problem seems to be that these window shades just don’t get dark enough, which isn’t too awesome when you’re trying to get a little shut eye—or watch the in-flight movie—while zooming around the world at 35,000 feet in the sky.
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As more 787s begin to roll off the assembly line there’s plenty of carriers prepping their planes for new routes. Even when the deliveries are years away, the airlines are just like us—they enjoying dreaming. Etihad is the latest to think about the future, and they’re already itching to share their plans.
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The 787 Dreamliner is surely getting some miles on the odometer. Every time we see some news about the new bird, it's touring another country. Of course this is on purpose as Boeing is proud of their new equipment and turned on by the idea of getting it out there, flying to buyers, potential buyers and potential flyers.
This past weekend, the Dreamtour was sponored by Qantas and Jetstar to announce their plans to welcome the aircraft into their fleet by August 2013. The red roo and its low-cost little joey chose to gain some exposure and up the excitement by flying the plane from Sydney to Brisbane for some showboating at the airports.