How Boeing Changed the World

Topics: Boeing 787, Boeing 747, Boeing Pages: 4 (1379 words) Published: October 15, 2011
After five years under wraps, the future of commercial aviation is about to make its worldwide debut. The global spotlight will be shining on The Boeing Co. July 8 (07-08-07) as it unveils its newest passenger jet in 13 years: the 787 Dreamliner. It hasn’t even flown yet and already the 787 is making aviation history as the world’s hottest-selling and most technically advanced new commercial jet ever. Not since Boeing ushered in the jet age with its 707 in 1954 has there been such hoopla over a new passenger airplane. For the 787 — the company’s first all-new jet since the 777 was unveiled in 1994 — Boeing has rented an entire football field to simulcast the rollout, which will be emceed by broadcaster Tom Brokaw. While the Dreamliner — the world’s first commercial jet made primarily of plastic — is ready for its public debut on the ground, the airplane still must prove itself in the air. First flight is scheduled for September, followed by a series of certification test flights this fall and commercial service in May 2008 with All Nippon Airways of Japan. Boeing will have six 787s in test flights by the end of this year. As a 91-year-old patriarch of aviation, Boeing is no stranger to risk. But not only is Boeing betting the company on its $10 billion Dreamliner program, it is breaking new ground on how and where commercial airplanes will be designed, built and flown for generations to come. Even the material used to build the 787 is setting new industry wide standards. Instead of using aluminum, Boeing is relying on manmade carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, known as composite, for the entire airframe. “This is the next evolutionary step in aviation,’’ says aviation consultant Scott Hamilton of Issaquah, Wash.-based Leeham Co. “It’s a game-changer for its manufacturing and assembly processes and will probably be mimicked by succeeding airplanes.’’ In what Boeing describes as the world’s biggest and most sophisticated industrialized project ever, the 787 program...
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