The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, an aircraft with Mexican footprint, takes off for the first time
Last Friday, the long-awaited Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner took off for the first time at Boeing South Carolina. The airplane, which is the newest and longest model of the 787 family, completed a successful flight totaling four hours and 58 minutes.
According to Airframer.com, the 787-10 incorporates composite materials from 19 companies, including Hexcel, Toray, Orbital ATK, The Gill Corporation, TenCate and Solvay.
The 787-10 is pretty much the definition of a global aircraft. Its wings and batteries come from Japan, India is the source of its floor beams, wing tips come from South Korea, the front fuselage is made in the United States and Japan, the center fuselage and horizontal stabilizers are from Italy.
France provides landing gear and doors, cargo access doors are built in Sweden, the wing/body fairings, which cover gaps on the body, are from Canada, the movable trailing edge of the wings are from Canada, except when they’re from the US or Australia.
Its engines come from either General Electric in the US or Rolls-Royce in the UK, while its thrust reversers are manufactured by UTC Aerospace Systems at its Mexicali facility.
“The 787-10’s first flight moves us one step closer to giving our customers the most efficient airplane in its class,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister in a press release. “The airplane will give carriers added flexibility in growing their network routes and build on the overwhelming success of the 787 Dreamliner family.”
Piloted by Boeing Test & Evaluation Captains Tim Berg and Mike Bryan, the airplane performed tests on flight controls, systems and handling qualities. The 787-10 will now undergo comprehensive flight testing before customer deliveries begin in the first half of 2018.
“From takeoff to landing, the airplane handled beautifully and just as expected,” said Berg, chief 787 pilot. “The 787-10 is a fantastic machine that I know our customers and their passengers will love.”
Boeing began final assembly in Charleston, S.C. in December and unveiled the plane to the public in February. According to Boeing, it will deliver the 787-10 to airlines in 2018.
The 787-10 has won 149 orders from nine customers across the globe including launch customer Singapore Airlines, Air Lease Corporation (ALC), All Nippon Airways (ANA), British Airways, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and United Airlines.
The company estimates that since entering service in 2011, the 787 family has flown more than 140 million people on 530 routes around the world, saving an estimated 13 billion pounds of fuel.
The Dreamliner is the first major commercial airplane to have a composite fuselage, composite wings, and use composites in most other airframe components. Composites are also incorporated in the plane’s window frames, fairing panels, cargo panels, interior components, and passenger door. Each 787 contains approximately 77,000 pounds of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP).
To watch the flight, check out the video from Boeing’s webcast below: