DALLAS — Today in Aviation, the world’s first all-composite airliner, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, entered passenger service with Japan’s ANA All Nippon Airways (NH) in 2011.
With the flight, NH became the world’s first operator of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The following is a flashback report written in 2016 by Airways‘ Chris Sloan, who was on board the carrier’s first 787 flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong.
Many forests have been decimated, and huge ‘bytes’ have been chomped into cyberspace by a plethora of articles extolling and examining the virtues of this so-called ‘game-changing’ airplane.
Pundits have discussed the relative merits of the 787 and the contemporary—but far larger—Airbus A380, while debating the former’s importance to air transport in the context of other revolutionary airliners from the same stable: the 707 and 747 wide-bodies.
The overall consensus is that the Dreamliner seems destined to have an even more profound effect on the future of the airline industry than its Boeing designers and airline customers have predicted. It appears inevitable that all future airliners will be measured against the leading-edge technology, decentralized shared global production, reduced environmental footprint, customer appeal features, lower maintenance costs, and—not least—improved fuel efficiency of the Dreamliner.
As oil prices escalate and travel markets become increasingly fragmented over the expected 55-year service lifespan of Boeing’s latest design, the hyperbole surrounding the 787 Dreamliner appears capable of being supported by actuality.
Some 7½ years after its formal launch and 3½ years behind its entry-into-service (EIS) schedule (never mind the billions of over-budget dollars and a break-even point a decade away), the 787 was finally ready for revenue service with a charter flight from Tokyo-Narita to Hong Kong on October 26.
At the handover ceremony in September 2011 and as the October EIS…