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Boeing celebrates delivery of its newest, biggest ‘Dreamliner’ yet

 

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Boeing delivered its newest and biggest variant yet of its “Dreamliner” 787 widebody aircraft; the 787-10.

Launch customer Singapore Airlines celebrated the landmark delivery Sunday evening at Boeing’s South Carolina factory, where a crowd of employees, airline officials and other dignitaries turned out to witness the event.

“It is an honor for us to be the world’s first airline to take delivery of this amazing new aircraft,” Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong said to those assembled on an unusually chilly March night in South Carolina’s “Low Country.” 

The “787-10” is the third, and for now final, variant of Boeing’s new-age jet, following the smaller 787-8 – the original – and 787-9 models.

The “dash 10” version of the Dreamliner is essentially a stretch of its smaller sibling, measuring about 18 feet longer than the 787-9. The 787-10 can seat about 330 passengers in a typical two-class layout, compared to about 290 on the smaller 787-9, according to Boeing’s specifications for the planes. The original -8 variant is the smallest of the three.

Singapore Airlines’ 787-10 will seat 337 in a new “regional” configuration for flights of up to 8 hours. The carrier will reveal its new cabin interior later this week.

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Boeing has enjoyed strong sales for its Dreamliner family of aircraft. The U.S. jetmaker has sold nearly 1,300 Dreamliners to airlines across the world. Of those, about 170 are for the larger 787-10. The delivery of celebrated on Sunday marked the first of 49 787-10s set to go the carrier. 

Revolutionary when they were introduced earlier this decade, the Boeing’s Dreamliners are made from composite materials instead of entirely from traditional aluminum. In addition to operating efficiencies, the design allows for passenger comforts like larger windows and more comfortable humidity levels.

Boeing designed its 787 aircraft for long-haul travel, predicting their moderate size and long range would allow airlines to open up dozens of new “thin” routes that bigger widebodies could not profitably serve.

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Boeing designed its 787 aircraft for long-haul travel, predicting the plane’s moderate size and long range would allow airlines to open up dozens of new “thin” routes that bigger widebodies could not profitably serve.

Boeing’s projections have been largely prophetic. San Francisco-Chengdu, Oakland-Oslo and Los Angeles-Qingdao, China, are among a number of previously unlikely city-pairs that now have non-stop flights on Dreamliner aircraft.

Another notable new Dreamliner route launched this weekend. The first of Qantas’ new 17-hour flights connecting London Heathrow and Perth, Australia, landed on Sunday; the route is the first-ever regularly scheduled non-stop airline service connecting Australia and Europe. 

With the delivery of its new 787-10, Singapore Airlines becomes the world’s first airline to have all three variants of the Dreamliner – though its 787-8s and 787-9s fly under its low-cost subsidiary, Scoot.

The 787-10s, however, will fly flights only for Singapore Airlines’ operations under its main brand. The carrier plans to use them for “regional” flights, which it defines as flights of up to eight hours. The airline has already announced that its 787-10 will fly from its hub in Singapore to Perth, Australia, and Osaka, Japan. Singapore Airlines has not specified other routes.

The additional seating capacity 787-10 comes at the expense of range. Boeing lists the range for the 787-10 at 6,430 nautical miles, which compares to 7,365 nautical miles for the “dash 9” and 7,355 for the 787-8.

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Singapore Airlines’ 787-10s will not fly to North America, but the model will eventually come to the United States.

United Airlines has ordered 14 787-10s, the first of which are expected to begin arriving to the Chicago-based carrier later this year. United, which already has 787-8s and 787-9s in its fleet, has not yet revealed specific route plans for its 787-10s.

IN PICTURESBehind the scenes: Boeing’s Dreamliner assembly line in South Carolina — 2017 

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