The Dreamliner :a beautiful new way to travel with mood lighting to help relax you, more legroom to stop the aching and cramping, noise reduction to ensure a much quieter flight and spacious cabins with less dry air onboard to make you feel refreshed upon landing. Recent news has informed the public of the apparent danger to the Boeing 787 Dreamliners if they fly too close to a thunderstorm, not because of the unpredictable up and down drafts as you might expect, but due to the engine potentially icing. If ice crystals are inside the engine, it causes a temporary loss of thrust when the plane is at soaring heights. This problem has been added to the list of technical mishaps that have befallen the Dreamliners since its maiden flight in 2009 such as the lithium-ion battery systems that overheated and caused a worldwide standstill earlier in 2014.
The History of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner
In 1916, William Boeing set up his own aviation business under the name of Boeing Airplane Co. with a twin-float seaplane called the B&W already constructed in his boathouse; now, Boeing has become the world’s leading aviation company and maker of commercial airliners.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was introduced to the world in 2007 and premiered on its first flight in 2009. Its mid-size body and twin jet engines can seat from 242 to 335 travellers, size varies through the range and editions, and is the most fuel-efficient aeroplane, 20% more efficient than the previous 767. Its main features that set it apart from the rest is its noise minimising chevrons on its narcelles, a four paneled windshield, a smoother, more aerodynamic nose and an electrical flight system. There are 2 current editions of the 787, the 787-8 and 787-9, one that was pulled from production in 2010, the 787-3, and one scheduled to be on the market in 2018-2019, the 787-10.
The 787-3 was designed to be a two classed 290 seated plane and was planned for high-density flights. Even though there were orders placed for the 787-3 by two Japanese airlines, work was postponed in 2008 and completely cancelled in 2010 due to finances and problems with the base model.
The 787-8 was the first 787 to be in service and is the base model for the entire 787 range with a wingspan of 60 metres and 57 metres in length. It is designed to take 210 passengers and has proven to be a popular choice with 43% of Dreamliner sales being for the 787-8.
The 787-9 took to the skies in 2013 and is the first edition of the 787 range to have a longer fuselage at 63 metres long. The differences between the 787-8 and the 787-9 include an active boundary-layer control, a higher fuel capacity and a stronger stucture, as well as being able to carry 70 more passengers. It has already been purchased by Air New Zealand and made its first flight from Auckland to Sydney in August 2014 and it is currently being used by United Airlines in the longest non-stop journey from Los Angeles in USA to Melbourne, Australia.
The largest of the 787 Dreamliner’s will be the 787-10 variant at 68.30 metres long and it will carry an amazing 330 passengers. This addition to the 787 family is thought to replace the Airbus A330 and A340 aircrafts and be in direct competition with the A350. It was launched for orders in 2013 and racked up a total of 102 aircrafts being ordered from airlines all over the world.
Problems in the storm
It may seem like an incredibly obvious but sensible suggestion for aircrafts to avoid storms but, in the case of the 787’s, it is not just due to the up drafts and down drafts that can cause crashes if they are strong enough, it is because the engines have a tendency to freeze due to the buildup of ice crystals that can run through the engine. There have been rules put in place to ensure that will prevent this from happening in the future such as all Boeing aircrafts to fly at least 50 nautical miles away from the storm, therefore avoiding the ice crystals altogether.
Dreamliner and Heathrow
Heathrow airport is home to 8 Dreamliner flight paths run by British Airways. They travel all over the world to destinations such as Toronto, Texas, Philadelphia and Chennai and, with the excess room and bigger windows, which you can dim or brighten at the touch of a button, so you can enjoy the view while relaxing in pure comfort. If you want to experience one of the Boeing 787’s for yourself, simply pick your destination, stay overnight at one of the many cheap Heathrow hotels, board your flight and simply relax and feel all your cares fly away. Don’t worry about the thunderstorms, they will be miles away.