First Boeing 787 Dreamliner lands in Australia

By Freddie Pierce
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 t...

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.

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