On Friday, March 9, 2012, Boeing brought their new 787 Dreamliner to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX, KPHX) as part of their 787 Dream Tour. The 787 has an extensive partner team, and this stop of the tour was to show the 787 Dreamliner to one of those partners; the employees of Honeywell (Honeywell is one of the top five employers in Arizona with 12,000+ employees). Honeywell Aerospace products and services are used globally on virtually every commercial and business aircraft and on defense and space applications. Their technologies help make flying safer, more reliable, more efficient, and more cost effective. Honeywell built many of the systems in the new 787 Dreamliner, and this was Boeing’s chance to show them how all of their hard work has paid off.
The 787 Dreamliner was scheduled to land at Sky Harbor around 4:30pm and was going to be parking on Cutter Aviation’s ramp for the weekend. Over the weekend there were many festivities planned with both Boeing and Honeywell, but the media was there to greet her as she arrived. Honeywell worked with both Boeing and Cutter to coordinate the media’s access, and for the 787’s touchdown the media was allowed out to the edge of Cutter’s ramp. It was amazing to see the amount of flex in the 787’s wings as she approached, and to hear the sound of so many cameras the moment she arrived. Right after she landed we were ushered back to allow room for the 787 to taxi in and to also make room for Boeing and Honeywell to setup the press conference area, this allowed us a photo op of the airplane as she slowly taxied to her parking spot.
The press conference was brief and included remarks by George Maffeo (Vice President, Supplier Management – 787 Program – Boeing Commercial Airplanes) and John Bolton (President, Air Transport & Regional Strategic Business Unit – Honeywell Aerospace). After their remarks we were invited to get an up-close and personal view of the 787 Dreamliner. We were allowed to view and photograph not only the outside, but also the inside including the cockpit. As we talked to the 787’s captain inside the cockpit we were able to see and learn about some of the systems that Honeywell is responsible for:
• Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System: With EGPWS, a previously prevalent type of airliner crash where the pilot flies a functioning airplane into an unseen obstacle or terrain has been eliminated on equipped planes.
• Next-Generation Flight Management System: The NGFMS gives flight crews expanded flight palnning capabilities to select routes, altitude and timing, allowing them to minimize distance, and therefore fuel burn.
• Flight Control Electronics: Honeywell’s flight control computer, with more than 1.5 million lines of software code, is one of the most sophisticated components on the 787.
• Navigation System: The navigation system allows the flight crew to determine the airplane’s location anywhere in the world and accurately reach its destination.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will provide new solutions for airlines and passengers alike. Responding to the overwhelming preference of airlines around the world, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ launched the 787 Dreamliner, a super-efficient airplane. An international team of top aerospace companies is building the airplane, led by Boeing at its Everett, Wash. facility near Seattle.
The 787-8 Dreamliner will have unparalleled performance and will carry 210 – 250 passengers on routes of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles. In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 provides airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance. The airplane uses 20 percent less fuel than today’s similarly sized airplanes. It will also travel at a similar speed as today’s fastest wide bodies, Mach 0.85. Airlines will enjoy more cargo revenue capacity. Passengers will also see improvements on the 787 Dreamliner, from an interior environment with higher humidity to increased comfort and convenience.
Advanced Technology is the key to the exceptional performance of the 787 Dreamliner, and there is a suite of new technologies developed and applied on the airplane. Composite materials make up 50 percent of the primary structure of the 787 including the fuselage and wing. Modern systems architecture is at the heart of the 787’s design. It is simpler than today’s airplanes and offers increased functionality and efficiency. For example, the team has incorporated airplane health-monitoring systems that allow the airplane to self-monitor and report systems maintenance requirements to ground-based computer systems. New engines from General Electric and Rolls-Royce are used on the 787. Advances in engine technology are the biggest contributor to overall fuel efficiency improvements. The new engines represent nearly a two-generation jump in technology for the middle of the market.
Market response to the 787 has been incredible with customers on six continents; Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. The orders have a backlog value of about $178 billion.
Source: Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Honeywell Aerospace