First Boeing 787 Dreamliner lands in Australia
The long wait for Australians hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Boeing 787 Dreamliner is finally at an end, as the first of the new-age planes touched down in Sydney yesterday on its test flight.
Those who missed the action shouldn’t have to wait too long (relatively speaking, of course), as Australian flag carrier Qantas plans to make the 787 Dreamliner a mainstay of its future fleet.
The company has 50 Dreamliners on order, with the first 15 expected to be delivered in 2013 to subsidiary Qantas. The other 35 planes are all 787-9 models, a bigger version of the luxury aircraft that will be used to travel further distances to link up with the company’s fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbo planes.
A LOOK INSIDE THE BOEING DREAMLINER
The 787-9 Dreamliners are expected to enter service with Air New Zealand in 2014 before being delivered to Qantas later that year or in early 2015.
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The excitement surrounding the Dreamliner push through aviation has been considerably sullied thanks to a myriad of supply chain and logistics problems that Boeing has encountered. Now that the planes are actually in the air, the talk has shifted to just how cool these planes really are.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has gone as far as to call the Dreamliner a “game-changer.” Much of the plane’s innovation is centered on its fuel efficiency, as lower weight, new engines and aerodynamics have increased fuel efficiency by 20 percent over the aircraft it's replacing in Qantas’ fleet.
With fuel costs skyrocketing out of control, Joyce may have hit the nail on the head in his assessment of the Dreamliner. Now the question will be whether Boeing can keep up with its soaring demand; the company is reportedly completely booked on 787 sales through 2019.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany