The Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been described as a “game-changer” aircraft, boasting an array of innovations designed to make flying more comfortable. While it has been in service for a couple of years and was plagued by some early teething problems, It is an aircraft that redefines the future of long-haul air travel.
Here are some reasons why it is going to be extremely popular amongst airline passengers for many years to come.
1. Less jetlag
The new carbon-fibre composite body means the cabin can be pressurised to the equivalent of 2000 feet lower than other aircraft. That means you get more oxygen into your blood, and hopefully emerge from the cramped metal tube feeling less jetlagged and a bit more refreshed.
That same composite construction means the Boeing 787 Dreamliner can tolerate roughly twice as much moisture in the air as an aluminium plane.
The humidity level is set to 14 per cent – far from tropical, but enough to avoid the usual dry mouth and chapped lips.
3. Big windows
The standout feature of the cabin is the huge windows. They’re at least 30 per cent bigger than similar craft, letting in much more natural light.
Boeing’s also done away with shutters, introducing a high-tech layer of gel sandwiched inside the glass which can be adjusted to various shades of darkness. It sounds gimmicky, and even though the glass never goes completely opaque, it works fine.
4. Mood lighting
The LED lighting has been designed to put travellers in the right mood, with a big blue ceiling as you enter, and strips that change colour to reflect different phases of the flight.
|Mood lighting onboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.|
5. Fuel efficiency
The 787’s breakthrough feature is that it uses 20 per cent less fuel, achieved through more efficient engines and the composite body. That’s a much bigger bonus for the airline than the passenger, but you can feel self-righteous about travelling on a cleaner, greener plane with less carbon dioxide emissions.
One factor outside of Boeing’s control is your allotment of personal space, you’re entirely at the mercy of the airline you fly with. Jetstar will be squeezing in a total of 335 passengers, compared with the standard, three-class configuration for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner of 210 seats.
On the bright side, low-cost carriers like Jetstar have much lower fares, so as always, you get what you pay for.
7. Quieter ride
You can’t really expect tranquillity when you’re sitting atop a pair of enormous, roaring jet engines. However, the Dreamliner’s special engine inlets and various other engineering tricks make it noticeably quieter inside the cabin, even during takeoff and landing.
|The galley of the 787.|