What the Dreamliner can do for you?

Boeing 787 - A big step for aviation, but how does it affect you?

This Wednesday the revolutionary Boeing Dreamliner will fly its very first commercial flight. “The flight is a coming-out party for a jet that reflects the biggest change in aircraft construction since metal replaced wooden biplanes,” USA Today’s Charisse Jones writes. I’d incline to agree with her. After two years in delays almost two years after its first test run, the latest update to the Boeing series will cart 264 passengers from Tokyo to Hong Kong. The jet will supposedly revolutionize the flying experience with comfier interiors, recycled plane parts, and a lighter, more fuel efficient body.

But how can all this radness positively affect your flying life?

Lower prices: First off, the Dreamliner claims a 20 percent jump in fuel efficiency over other similar planes. It’s built with General Electric and Rolls-Royce engines, which are just more efficient, claims Boeing on its site.  “Advances in engine technology are the biggest contributor to overall fuel efficiency improvements,” explains Boeing. “The new engines represent nearly a two-generation jump in technology for the middle of the market.”

The plans is also apparently 30 percent cheaper to maintain, reports Jones. “The Dreamliner’s unique makeup also won’t corrode as easily as other jets,” she writes. “The payoff for airlines is the ability to fly long-distance trips without burning as much increasingly costly jet fuel as other similar-size planes.” Sadly, the airlines might not share that wealth with passengers, though. Yet, there is another way you could save money. A midsize plane, The Dreamliner might open up new routes that otherwise would’ve been hard and expensive to get to. “It could pave the way for airlines to have new, direct flights between far-away cities on routes that otherwise wouldn’t have profitably supported non-stop trips on a bigger jet burning more fuel with so few passengers,” continues Jones.

It's only Economy, but does the 787 provide an experience that is a class of its own?

Comfy insides: After ponying up big bucks, perks like nice seats and in-flight entertainment matter. The Dreamliner is at least trying to up its game. The interior looks comfortable, if a bit futuristic. There’s also an actual bar in the main cabin and the in-flight entertainment, which each set has, is all Android operated touch screens, as CNET reported.

Greener body: For the environmentally conscious: It’s body is made of 50 percent composites, which should quell guilt about burning massive amounts of fuel whilst jet-setting. And believe me, when I say greener, take a look inside. No question, this is aerofutures.

References courtesy of The Atlantic Wire


New Brain for the Raptor? Plug and Play Technology on the Cards

The F-22 Raptor is in need of a system upgrade which allows it to incorporate other technologies in the future – U.S. Air Force says. Service officials hope to make it much cheaper and easier to provide modifications to the F-22 in the future, including the option of cross-integration with technology already developed for the F-35.

The fact is that the next-generation fighter has a very highly integrated avionics system already, but one that is closely knit and proprietary. This has created a monopolized structure where most improvements would be reliant on the aircraft’s design companies, Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The F-22 SPO (System Program Office) would like to see an Open System Architecture employed, and are willing to contract another company to do so.

“We are highly reliant upon Lockheed Martin and Boeing to do any kinds of modifications to the Jet” says David Weber, Deputy Director of the F-22 SPO. “The open-architecture effort is meant to allow the Air Force to open upgrade work to competition”.  Weber goes on to state that Boeing and Lockheed would be welcome to bid on the demonstration contracts in the future, and that this is one of several alternative directions for the programme.

For more information on this article, I recommend DefenceNews.org

Images courtesy of geekosystem.com