First Dreamliner 787 flight scheduled: October

By danwarne, July 26 2011
First Dreamliner 787 flight scheduled: October

If you've been on tenterhooks waiting to see what Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner looks like first-hand, your opportunity is just around the corner.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced it will operate its first 787 flight in October -- one month after the plane is delivered by Boeing in September.

The first commercial flight will be between Tokyo and Hong Kong, and seats will be sold to any passenger -- as long as they're prepared to pay for a special packaged tour being planned by ANA.

The next-generation jet is three years late, due to a complex worldwide supply chain for manufacturing parts of the aircraft, challenges in manufacturing the aircraft from carbon fibre reinforced plastic rather than a traditional aluminium shell, industrial action and engineering problems with the plane's software and electrical system.

Despite the "Dreamliner" name, the 787 is not a direct competitor to the giant Airbus A380. It is actually much smaller than a 747 or even a 777, and is more directly comparable to the Boeing 767-300s used on interstate hops within Australia, but uses 20% less fuel and has much longer flying range. It will seat 210 to 330 passengers.

Inside the 787

Check out our walkthrough of ANA's first 787.

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