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keg in kc
05-10-2007, 08:09 AM
Tomorrow's Airliners: Stronger, More Comfortable and Mainly Plastic (http://www.aviation.com/070510_plastic_planes.html)

By Chris Kjelgaard
Aviation.com Senior Editor
posted: 10 May 2007 09:08 am ET

If you take a long international flight ten years from now, there's a good chance the airliner carrying you will be made as much out of plastic as metal.

But not just any plastic. Tomorrow's airliners will make extensive use of advanced carbon-fiber composite materials, much stronger and lighter than the aluminum parts they replace.

The entire fuselage skin of Boeing's new 787 twin-engined widebody jet, due to enter service in 2008, will consist of composites. The skin and spars of the 787's wings are made of composite material too, though the ribs that shape and stiffen the wing from front to back are aluminum.

"We looked at how every part of the aircraft was [stress] loaded, and we chose the right part for every given application," said Tom Cogan, chief project engineer on the Boeing 787. For instance, Boeing used titanium for the large fittings joining the 787's wings to its fuselage, because "it's very light and it does very well in a highly loaded situation."

Today's airliners make use of composite materials, but not to the degree that the 787 and its future rival the Airbus A350 XWB will. Composite materials make up "roughly 50 percent" of the 787, said Cogan. The A350 XWB, which won't enter service until 2013, will be more than 60 percent composite.

Airbus was the first manufacturer to use composite materials for load-bearing parts and flight control surfaces in airliners, but Boeing chose to use composites for the 777's floor beams when designing the big twinjet in the 1990s.

Composite materials confer several major design advantages. Apart from being very light and very strong, they don't corrode and they aren't subject to metal fatigue.

The earliest-built 777s have recently undergone their first "heavy checks"--major structural inspections during which the aircraft essentially were taken apart, examined extremely thoroughly and rebuilt-- and their floor beams were "pristine," said Cogan. "We haven't sold a single spare floor beam."

This is great news for airlines. In the course of normal operations their jets are subject to extremes of heat and cold and--particularly on transoceanic flights--fly for long periods in moist, salt-laden, corrosive air.

Employing composites to a greater degree will make airliners more reliable, letting airlines fly them more while keeping maintenance costs down. It will also make airliners lighter, reducing fuel costs and allowing them to carry more passengers and cargo--or fly longer distances--at their maximum takeoff weights.

Tomorrow's largely composite airliners also will improve the flying experience for passengers.

Making airliner fuselages out of composites banishes the fear of metal fatigue and corrosion that has constrained designers until now. Passenger-cabin air can be moister and kept at higher pressure, so passengers feel less dehydrated and don't find themselves gasping for breath.

Breathing in today's jets is like breathing at the top of an 8,500-foot mountain. But the 787 will have a 6,000-foot cabin altitude, making it much easier to breathe.

Passenger windows can be much larger, too. Each 787 window is some 30 percent bigger than today's cabin windows and window-height difference is particularly noticeable. The 787's windows will extend above seatback height, so passengers sitting between the aisles can look across and see outside.

"We like to say every seat is a window seat," said Cogan.

Building on these advantages, Boeing has adopted other technologies to make passengers feel comfortable on 787s.

It is using LED lighting to create a cabin lighting environment that can vary with the time of day from a restful pastel-colored glow at dawn and dusk to brighter daytime lighting and a subdued midnight-blue shade in late evening.

Additionally, not only does the 787 cabin environmental control system employ HEPA filters to keep the air free of particles as small as viruses, but Boeing also has incorporated a gaseous air purification system to scrub out even smaller molecules, to keep the air aroma-free.

"Actually, the air onboard will be cleaner than the outside air," said Cogan.

Since outside air at high altitude is very dry but people generate humidity, Boeing 787 pilots will tell the aircraft's computers how many people are on board and the computers will manage cabin humidity levels by drawing in greater or lesser amounts of air from outside. The 787 won't need cabin humidifiers.

Passengers won't notice all the advanced technologies used in the 787 and the A350 XWB. But one they will notice is the use of dynamic load alleviation to reduce gust forces.

Sensors in the aircraft's nose will sense lateral and vertical wind gusts as it begins to encounter them, allowing its flight computers instantly to move the aircraft's flight control surfaces to reduce the loads. This means the aircraft can have a lighter design structure--but more importantly for passengers, the flight will feel less bumpy.

keg in kc
05-10-2007, 08:11 AM
787 'Dreamliner' Program Fact Sheet (http://www.boeing.com/commercial/787family/programfacts.html)

The 787 Program covers many areas of interest, from the market, customers, and airplane technology to manufacturing enhancements and an extensive partner team, among others. Here are some interesting facts and figures on a number of these topic areas:

Market size
3,500 units over 20 years (2004-2023) $400 billion

Expectation of sales out of 3,500 units
More than half

Major program milestones
Firm configuration completed - September 2005
Major assembly began - June 2006
First flight - 2007
First delivery - 2008
787-3 - Mid-2010
787-9 - Late 2010
Proposal activity
With 30 customers
More than 500 airplanes
Firm orders and by which airlines
544 -- ANA at 50; Air New Zealand at 8; First Choice at 12; Icelandair at 4; Northwest Airlines at 18; JAL at 35; Korean Air at 10; Ethiopian Airlines at 10; Continental Airlines at 25; Air China at 15; Shanghai Airlines at 9; LOT Polish Airlines at 8; Royal Air Maroc at 4; Air Canada at 14; China Eastern Airlines at 15; Vietnam Airlines at 4; International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) at 22; LCAL (Low-Cost Aircraft Leasing) at 15; Hainan Airlines at 8; China Southern Airlines at 10; Air India at 27; Kenya Airways at 9; Qantas at 45; Air Pacific at 5; Pegasus at 6; 787 VIPs at 5; Aeromexico at 2; unidentified customer at 2; Monarch Airlines at 6; unidentified customer at 11; CIT Aerospace at 5; Singapore Airlines at 20; Avianca at 10; Nakash Group at 2; Jet Airways at 10; unidentified at 2; unidentified at 2; Azerbaijan Airlines at 3; ALAFCO at 12; unidentified customer at 15; Travel Service at 1; unidentified customer at 8; unidentified customer at 3; unidentified customer at 2; unidentified customer at 5; unidentified customer at 30

Seat range of airplane
200 - 300

Seats by model
787-8, 210 to 250
787-9, 250 to 290
787-3, 290 to 330
Speed at which it will fly
Mach 0.85 (about the same as a 777 and 747)

787 vs. 777 on composites and aluminum (by weight)
787
- 50 percent composites
- 20 percent aluminum

777
- 12 percent composites
- 50 percent aluminum

Material breakout on 787
Composites - 50%
Aluminum - 20%
Titanium - 15%
Steel - 10%
Other - 5%
Example of part count reductions (on first barrel section)
1,500 aluminum sheets
40,000 - 50,000 fasteners
80 percent reduction in fasteners compared to 1 part for composite
How much lighter is 787 from A330-200
30,000 - 40,000 lbs.

More fuel efficient
20 percent more fuel efficient than similarly sized airplanes

Produces fewer emissions
20 percent fewer than similarly sized airplanes

Better cash seat mile costs than peer airplanes
10 percent

Generators
Four at 250 kVA (two per engine)
Two at 225 kVA (on auxiliary power unit)
Hydraulic power
Distributed at:
5,000 pounds per square inch on the 787
3,000 pounds per square inch standard

Advantage of the new electric architecture
Extracts as much as 35 percent less power from the engines than traditional pneumatic systems on today's airplanes

Amount of copper wiring eliminated
60 miles

Design time on computers
800,000h of computing time on Cray supercomputers

Hours of wind tunnel tests
15,000 hours of wind tunnel tests

Days the 787 will be in final assembly
The goal is three days

Anticipated maintenance savings
30 percent

Maintenance action on 777 empennage
None

Spare part ordered on 777 composite floor beams
1 spare part ordered

US and non-US content on the 787
Roughly 75 percent US
Roughly 25 percent non-US

Systems partners announced -- 95 percent complete
Goodrich, Honeywell, Rockwell Collins, Hamilton Sundstrand, Smiths, Eaton Aerospace, Moog Inc., Thales, Kidde Technologies, Parker Hannifin, Labinal, Messier-Bugatti, Monogram Systems, Panasonic, Ultra Electronics Holdings, Donaldson Company, Inc., Astronautics Corp. of America

Number of Large Cargo Freighter airplanes Boeing has purchased
3

The number of new city pairs the 787 will connect
At least 450

Boeing is 10 for 10; the 787 will be 11 for 11. The 10 are:
707, DC-8, DC-9 727, 737, 747, DC-10, 757, 767, and 777

keg in kc
05-10-2007, 08:12 AM
.

Joe Seahawk
05-10-2007, 08:18 AM
http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/archives/Boeing%20787%20Dreamliner%20int.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/1320/7e72.jpg

Donger
05-10-2007, 08:43 AM
"If it ain't Airbus, I ain't going."

Reerun_KC
05-10-2007, 08:44 AM
Man it is a good time to become a pilot...

I am so looking forward to being in the cockpit of one of these bad boys in a few years...

Donger
05-10-2007, 08:45 AM
Man it is a good time to become a pilot...

I am so looking forward to being in the cockpit of one of these bad boys in a few years...

Why? You want to be a "systems manager?"

Reerun_KC
05-10-2007, 09:24 AM
Why? You want to be a "systems manager?"


OH Yeah, It sure beats sitting in the office with zero windows any day....

Hell most of the Cessna's and stuff I fly now have Garmin 1000's with Autopilot...

That is all we are in them... We program it all on the ground, taxi, takeoff, turn on the flight plan, sit back relax, enjoy the view/ride.

Hell the darn thing will even fly the approach for you, Kick the autopilot off at 150 feet about the runway and land...

Cant wait!

HemiEd
05-10-2007, 11:39 AM
"If it ain't Airbus, I ain't going."

I fly a lot and have just the opposite opinion, Boeing for me please.

Donger
05-10-2007, 11:41 AM
I fly a lot and have just the opposite opinion, Boeing for me please.

I was kidding, of course.

The saying is, "If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going."

That being said, the airline I fly has an all-Airbus fleet. They haven't killed me yet.

ChiefaRoo
05-10-2007, 12:41 PM
"If it ain't Airbus, I ain't going."

Ha, Airbus/EADS has destroyed it's profitability for years to come with their SuperDumbo and now they're 5 plus years behind the boys at Boeing competing against the Dreamliner. Suck it Euro weenies. Maybe the EU will give the company some more free money so they can pretend they're competitive.

HemiEd
05-10-2007, 12:47 PM
I was kidding, of course.

The saying is, "If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going."

That being said, the airline I fly has an all-Airbus fleet. They haven't killed me yet.

They are both very good products, but I get a kick out of the extra noises on an Airbus though. They remind me of the old HU16-D sea planes I used to fly in the Navy.

Donger
05-10-2007, 01:14 PM
They are both very good products, but I get a kick out of the extra noises on an Airbus though. They remind me of the old HU16-D sea planes I used to fly in the Navy.

You mean the flap hydraulics? If so, yeah, that did freak me out a little, even though I knew what it was.

HemiEd
05-10-2007, 01:19 PM
You mean the flap hydraulics? If so, yeah, that did freak me out a little, even though I knew what it was.

That is exactly what it is, a little sound deadener and insulation might go a long way.

BucEyedPea
05-10-2007, 01:21 PM
I hope that plastic has bounce in it.

Donger
05-10-2007, 01:45 PM
That is exactly what it is, a little sound deadener and insulation might go a long way.

Heh. I had fun with the wife regarding that last year on a family vacation. She absolutely hates to fly, and during pushback, that wonderful noise began as usual. I looked at her and said, "I've never heard that before! That sounded bad..."

She actually rang her call button and asked one of the flight attendants.

I now equate that noise with a month without sex.

HemiEd
05-10-2007, 01:53 PM
Heh. I had fun with the wife regarding that last year on a family vacation. She absolutely hates to fly, and during pushback, that wonderful noise began as usual. I looked at her and said, "I've never heard that before! That sounded bad..."

She actually rang her call button and asked one of the flight attendants.

I now equate that noise with a month without sex.

LMAO that is great. I made a similar comment on my return from Ft. Lauderdale last week. I just said, "it's an Airbus, they don't know much about building these things yet." I got a lot of stares from close by passengers, but it did not faze my wife. She used to be a lead tech for Air Midwest.