The Boeing 787 Dreamliner & Flappy Wings Unveiled

“The old Boeing is back,” the same one that brought us the 747!

A scoop occurred due to Blogs and luck. On Sunday, July 8 Boeing will formally unveil the airplane that the world’s airlines want (cough, as opposed to what Airbus is offering), and in 9 languages, but pictures were taken yesterday since the plane had to move from one hanger to another near a public highway in Everett, WA. The 787 is a 330 passenger aircraft (vice the Airbus A380 at 840 passengers)

Photographer and aviation enthusiast Charles Conklin managed to get a few pictures of the first nearly-finished Boeing 787 as it rolled out of an assembly hangar early Tuesday morning.

Conklin said he got a tip that the plane would be rolling out sometime late Monday or early Tuesday, but the informant wasn’t sure exactly when it would happen.

He drove to the factory with his camera and telephoto lens so he could get shots from outside the Boeing property. For the first two hours he just sat and waited.

“I wasn’t sure whether the tip was going to pay off,” he said. “I basically gave myself a cutoff of midnight, and that’s when things finally started happening.”

The hangar doors opened and the 787 jet was rolled out and into a nearby paint hangar. The whole process took about 40 minutes, Conklin said.

Pictures at the link, and anywhere you google news “787.”

Conklin said his tipster was Jon Ostrower, who operates the Flightblogger web site.

Jon started the site in March and said he’s seen traffic to the blog grow steadily with his coverage of the 787.

He started receiving tips from Boeing employees about assembly and development of the aircraft, and said that he knew back in May an approximate date for the 787’s move to the paint hangar.

This is indeed the next generation of commercial airliners.

The new jetliner is due to be delivered in May 2008, and is now sold out for delivery until 2013.

Boeing employees have been rushing to finish the jet in time for its formal rollout ceremony on July 8, 2007.

The 787 will be the first large commercial airliner built mostly from light, sturdy composite materials instead of aluminum, making the plane more fuel-efficient and less expensive to maintain.

Boeing has lined up a vast network of suppliers around the globe that are manufacturing large pieces of the 787, which are then flown on a superfreighter to the final assembly plant in Everett

Superfreighter means the major cash cow the Ukraine got out of the USSR, its monster Ilyushins. And for comparison, the last big US bomber, the B-52H, stopped production in 1962.

More pics and history: Here and here.

Par is my prediction. We now have the Sonic Cruiser, 20% more efficient..

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Richard Gardner
About Richard Gardner
Richard Gardner is a “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience. He contributed over 100 pieces to OTB between January 2004 and August 2008, covering special events. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.


  1. DC Loser says:

    Rich – Correction on the Superfreighter. It’s the Antonov design bureau that the Ukrainians inherited. Ilyushin is still in Russian hands and they haven’t done much that I’ve noticed lately.

  2. M. Murcek says:

    And actually, the transporters Boeing is using are modded 747s

  3. brainy435 says:

    Not that I doubt Boeing, but I remember a few years ago when there were serious failures of composite aircraft parts due to delamination. I haven’t read anything since indicationg that this problem has been solved. Maybe when the aircraft is officially unveiled we’ll see some articles about it?

  4. brainy435 says:

    Examples here:

    Fortunately, I guess they have already addressed the problem:
    “Boeing has already experienced some mild turbulence on the 787 program. Some of the carbon-fiber test fuselage sections showed various forms of delamination and had to be discarded. But instead of covering up the problem, Boeing execs acknowledged it when asked by a reporter.”

  5. DC Loser says:

    Composite aircraft components are nothing new. Many parts now are made of carbon composites versus the traditional aluminum, such as the tail and other parts of the wing.

  6. brainy435 says:

    True, DC. Even WWI era planes used composites and had similar delamination failures. My point is that it is a new application and may require new tests and maintenance proceedures. Just wondering how throughly those will be tackled BEFORE accidents happen.

  7. M1EK says:

    Our airlines prefer the 787 because our airport policy is seriously broken – we lack supply of gates and takeoff times, yet we drastically penalize airlines for running bigger planes to make more efficient use of those scarce resources.