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You're really flying now . . . jet brings travel into 21st century


The Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner

IT is billed as 'the first all-new airplane of the 21st century' that is not only luxurious but cuts cost, noise and carbon emissions.

Boeing's latest state-of-the-art jet, the 787 Dreamliner, touched down at Dublin Airport yesterday in a bid to woo the flying public and aviation executives attending a conference here.

It will fly out to Alabama today as part of a world promotional tour that began in China.

After making her maiden voyage from Toyko to Hong Kong last October, 870 of the new 'super-efficient' jets have been snapped up by 50 major airlines from around the world -- including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic -- at a cost of $180bn (€137bn).

But no Irish airline has jumped on board so far, and the Seattle-based aeronautical giant flew in from Illinois on Wednesday to showcase the jet to industry officials and delegates attending the annual European Airfinance Conference in Dublin.

At a 'listed' cost of $193.5m (€148m), the jets don't come cheap.

But for those few airlines who actually pay the full price, they be will rewarded in the end with a 20pc greater fuel efficiency which is due to the plane's construction, according to Boeing's Director of Product Marketing Jim Haas.

The jet is the first commercial airliner that is comprised of 50pc carbon fibre reinforced plastic which is both lighter and stronger than aluminium, he said.

"This airplane will cost about 10pc less to operate than today's airplanes. So it will help airlines that are struggling for profitability to become a little more profitable," he said.

Among its other attributes, the new jet is more environmentally friendly than its rivals and produces less carbon emissions and 60pc less noise, he said.

Other perks include: l LED lights that can be set to any colour desired.

A galley entrance which is wide, sleek and roomy.

Porthole-type windows that are longer and fitted with an electronic dimmer switch that allows passengers to down dim to a virtual blackout or have a full view out the window whenever they want.

Eight times less turbulence than conventional jets due to a massive 60-metre wing span. l Higher levels of humidity in the air and a filtration system designed to block the spread of bacteria and viruses.

The cabin is pressurised at a level 2,000 feet lower than conventional jets which means the body is able to absorb more oxygen and experience less dizziness and fatigue, which also helps reduce painful ear popping during take off and landings, said Boeing's flight test director Robert Lowe.

And the new design means passengers will get to their destinations faster, he added.

Irish Independent