A 20% More Fuel Efficient Dreamliner takes to the Skies

Discussion in 'Commerical Transportation' started by xcel, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] After more than 2-years of delays and Billions in cost overruns thanks in part to a global supplier arrangement, she’s flying into the future.

    [​IMG]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Aug. 7, 2011

    The first commercial production variant of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner blazoned with a large blue 787 moniker and blue ANA highlights (its first commercial Japanese customer) on an all white jet was a sight to behold as it was rolled out of the paint hangar yesterday.

    T-Minus 3 years, 4-months and counting

    Back in April of 2008, Boeing released a statement regarding the reasons for the planes upwards of 1.5 years delay included a slower than expected completion of work that traveled from supplier facilities into Boeing's final assembly line, unanticipated rework, and the addition of margin into the testing schedule. Even then, Boeing had expected to deliver approximately 25 787’s in 2009.

    T-Minus 1-month and counting

    Just one short month ago, Boeing and ANA began validation of their readiness for the 787 Dreamliner's entry into service with a final prototype landing at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on July 4. ANA's first commercial production 787 features a short-haul international interior design with business- and economy-class cabins.

    Mitsuo Morimoto, ANA senior executive vice president and member of the board of directors:
    Some of the most innovative technologies aboard the 787 aren't visible, but will help passengers have a more pleasant and comfortable flight. Passengers will arrive at their destinations feeling more refreshed with the airplane's cleaner cabin air, lower cabin altitude and higher humidity. And one that is? Instead of a slide shade on the side windows, the touch of a button will dim the light coming through from full brightness to almost non-transparent.

    Boeing plans to deliver the first 787 to ANA in September. ANA will operate its first 787 revenue flight as a charter international flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong.

    Boeing 787 Dreamliner Overview

    Technology - The key to this exceptional performance is a suite of new technologies being developed by Boeing and its international technology development team.

    As much as 50 percent of the primary structure - including the fuselage and wing - on the 787 will be made of composite materials. The remaining include 20% aluminum, 15% Titanium, 10% Steel and 5% other materials. Compare those figures with the current 777 which incorporates just 12% percent composites and 50 percent aluminum plus titanium, steel and other materials.

    An open architecture will be at the heart of the 787's systems, which will be more simplified than today's airplanes and offer increased functionality. For example, the team is incorporating health-monitoring systems that will allow the airplane to self-monitor and report maintenance requirements to ground-based computer systems.

    Boeing selected both General Electric and Rolls-Royce to develop the new engines for the new airplane. It is expected that advances in engine technology will contribute as much as 8 percent of the increased efficiency of the new airplane, representing a nearly two-generation jump in technology for the middle of the market.

    Another improvement in efficiency will come in the way the airplane is designed and built. New technologies and processes are in development to help Boeing and its supplier partners achieve unprecedented levels of performance at every phase of the program. For example, by manufacturing a one-piece fuselage section, we are eliminating 1,500 aluminum sheets and 40,000 - 50,000 fasteners.

    Boeing 787 Dreamliner Specifications

    Brief Description: The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is a hyperefficient airplane with many new passenger-pleasing features. It will bring the economics of large jet transports to the middle of the market, using 20 percent less fuel than any other airplane of its size.

    Seating: 210 to 250 passengers

    Range: 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles

    Configuration: Twin aisle

    Cross Section: 226 inches

    Wing Span: 197 feet

    Length: 186 feet

    Height: 56 feet

    Cruise Speed: Mach 0.85

    Total Cargo Volume: 4,400 cubic feet

    Maximum Takeoff Weight: 502,500 pounds

    Personally I cannot wait to fly in one but that may be a long time coming.
  2. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    20% increase in fuel mileage in an airliner is a massive decrease in fuel costs.

    Just to give you an idea of how much an airline could save I'll use numbers from a 757

    The trip is New York to Los Angles takes around six and half hours.

    The first two hours due to the weight of the fuel on board, the aircraft burns about six tons or 12,000 lbs or 1767 gallons per hour.

    The next four and a half hours of it's flight due to the decreasing weight of the fuel being used, it will average around four tons, 8,000 lbs or 1178 gallons per hour.

    Total trip over six and half hours the aircraft burns sixty thousand pounds of jet fuel or 8837 gallons.

    Cost is $4.67 per gallon so the trip costs around $41,270 for just the fuel.

    A twenty percent savings in fuel flying a Boeing 787 Dreamliner instead, would save the airline 1767 gallons or $8251 or $1270 per hour of flight time from NY to LA. :)
  3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    $1270/250 = $5.08
    $8251/250 = $33

    Not bad.

    Of course, the plane is more expensive and that extra cost will have to be recovered before you see a reduction in operating costs.

    Efficiency improvements through technology are always good to see. Improved efficiency brings us closer to and lowers the cost of sustainability.
  4. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    This is also how cars can be more fuel efficient - make them lighter and more streamlined.

    When stories are done on most efficient hybrids - the Prius and Insight (2000-2006 at least) do well because more was done than just dropping a hybrid power plant in it.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Al and Colin:

    Good analysis. I seem to remember doing some calc’s on this a few years back and finding a commercial jet would pull around 100 MPGe. Al’s 777 details sound more precise and with 8,837 gallons consumed over 2,800 miles (the drive, not as the crow fly’s ;)), you have .317 mpg. With 250 aboard, that = 79 MPGe. The Dreamliner on the same flight with a full cabin should provide ((2,800 miles/7,070 gal)*250) = 99 MPGe. I like those numbers.

    In addition, the NY to LA run is against the prevailing jet stream but I assume the various altitudes that jets fly take advantage or reduce the disadvantage of that at every opportunity in order to save even more fuel.

    Any pilots amongst us that can answer some of these questions?

    I also seem to remember a study from a story last week where Air transport consumes 5 of our nation’s transportation fuel. While not all “hops” will be as efficient as a NY City to Los Angeles run, if the Dreamliner pans out, hopefully future airliners will incorporate some if its tech and provide similar savings for their flights.

    Then there was that story we did about Southwest and some of the other larger airlines pulling back on the throttles just a bit (something like 35-mph or something) and saving another few percent.

  6. Earthling

    Earthling Trying to be kind to Mother Earth

    For comparison, our last trip to Olathe, Kansas from western New York in the Prius, in January, some of it in sub-zero F temperatures, gave us 50.0 mpg. That's 100 MPGe for the two of us.

  7. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    I would love to fly on one of these, but most of my flights are domestic and not large market to large market (NY - LAX, etc). I also only fly SW as long as they can get me close to where I'm heading. I'd be curious to the calculations for the 737/A320 also. I know Airbus has the A320neo that's supposed to be 15% more efficient. If Boeing can match that, it'll be a very good thing, considering that size plane is the "work horse" or in SW's case, THE ENTIRE FLEET.

    As for the added cost, I'm sure it'll get recouped pretty quickly. I expect these planes to be used on the more profitable international routes. This will probably result in more savings as they are usually much longer flights, too. If they're being purchased to replace aging planes or for increased capacity the cost difference between a 767 (i believe this is a rough equivalent, but maybe the 777 is better) is probably not too significant for how long the airlines keep their planes.

    I wish Boeing would implement some of the interior comfort items into all of their aircraft. Usually about halfway through a flight, my nose and throat are extremely dry. I can only imagine how 12 hours on planes is going to make me feel in 3 months.
  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

  9. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Increased sophistication in fuel planning is becoming more prominent , but Air Traffic Control, schedule (i.e. making up for lost time) and weather are also in the mix and often won't allow for perfect execution of the optimum planning.

    Effective Flight Plans Can Help Airlines Economize
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  10. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    Good point. But, what will they do with that plane after that? Probably bump an older, less efficient one out of service somewhere else. Or they'll drop a flight on another route and substitute the larger plane in so they only make one flight.

    Interesting you mention AA. Where I work partnered with them last month to offer the employees AAdvantage Gold status. I signed up just because it was offered, but I've only flown AA one or two times. When I saw that work partnered with them, I chuckled and said "we couldn't partner with a company that hasn't posted something like 8 consecutive quarterly losses, could we?". I used to fly US AIRWAYS everywhere - they pretty much own(ed) the east coast. After enough flights being late/delayed and unfriendly staff, I gave them the boot.
  11. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    20% savings in fuel mean is big, since 40% of the ticket cost is fuel.. but I doubt the airline will give you a "Dreamliner" discount thus is just pure profit for them :)
  12. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    True. It's a whole serious of bumps. Airlines' profit-motive means that when they purchase new airplanes they keep becoming more efficient. Unfortunately peoples' car purchases don't always work like that.

    The oldest, still-usable planes will end up flying in poorer nations, such as many African countries.
  13. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Profit comes from filling aircraft. Filling aircraft comes from people being able to pay to fly. Rising fuel prices reduces the number of people flying.

    It's not that you'll get a discount, it just helps keep prices lower.
  14. Kurz

    Kurz Well-Known Member

    Pure profit? once every airliner has these plans the prices will be lower.
  15. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Pure profit for Boeing then, thank god it did not bankrupt them.
  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    A progress report of merit on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner...

    Boeing celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner today to launch customer ANA during a ceremony adjacent to the factory where the airplane was assembled. More than 500 employees representing the 787 program walked alongside the all-new jetliner to present it to ANA executives as a crowd of thousands looked on.

    During the ceremony, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh presented a ceremonial key to Shinichiro Ito, president and CEO of ANA.

    Jim Albaugh, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO:
    Made from composite materials, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public. In addition to providing airlines with unprecedented fuel economy and low operating costs, the 787 features a host of new technologies that greatly enhance the passenger experience.

    ANA and Boeing completed the contractual delivery of the airplane on Sept. 25. ANA will fly the airplane to Tokyo Haneda Airport on Tuesday, with a scheduled departure of 6:35 a.m. (Pacific time) from Paine Field.

  17. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    great news!.. did anyone catch the premiere of the ABC show Pan Am?
  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Herm:

    I did. I thought it was a cool look back. Retro so to speak. A lot better than the Playboy Club throwback.

  19. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Hope all the hard lessons learned makes the 737 successor a lot smoother.

    The new 747-8 freighter was delayed with the same logistics problems this month. :(
  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The 787 Dreamliner completed its first inaugural commercial flight when it landed in Hong Kong after a 4-hour, eight-minute flight from Tokyo yesterday.

    Japan's Nippon Airways flew the first that was loaded with aviation reporters and enthusiasts. According to a report by the AP, some of those onboard paid thousands of dollars for the privilege!

    Way to go Boeing!


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