Boeing's Dreamliner sparks new era of commercial aviation

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David Lux October 4 Design

Boeing delivered its first batch of all-new 787 Dreamliners this month, ushering in a new generation of commercial aircraft. The Dreamliner is more efficient and offers more passenger comfort than its predecessors, and it’s being dubbed as the “first new airplane of the 21st century” by Boeing execs.

Boeing’s Dreamliner is unique because it’s lighter and faster than older planes, while offering greater fuel-efficiency. Its structure also sets it apart, as it’s composed largely of composite materials rather than sheets of aluminum. Travelers will benefit from the Dreamliner’s wider windows, a variety of in-flight entertainment, and even higher humidity to reduce dry eyes and headaches.

“All of those comfort and quality features make the 787 different from conventional aircraft,” said Satoshi Fujiki, a senior vice president for All Nippon Airlines, who will begin its first passenger flight with the 787 later this month. “But the design will also benefit the airline.”

While the Dreamliner offers innovative new technology benefiting the passengers and the airlines that operate the new plane, Boeing’s European rival, Airbus, will soon compete head on with its own next-generation plane, dubbed the A350. But that plane will be just the first step toward radically new aircraft that will emerge by mid-century.

At the recent Paris Air Show, Airbus released images of future planes that will have pliable seats that adjust themselves to a passenger’s body. Airbus also envisions planes with transparent cabin ceilings to give passengers a thrilling view of the open sky. Other features include extra-wide seats and vast lounges.

“If you put all the ideas together, it may sound far-fetched,” said Charles Champion, Airbus engineering executive vice president. “But it identifies the trends we see today. We are pushing those concepts to the limit.”

If you want to see more of what flying will be like in 2050, check out the video below.

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Written by David Lux

David is a blogger, marketer, and spends copious hours devouring content concerning autos, tech, and then more autos. You can follow him on Twitter: @autocontent

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