Skip to comments.Dream becomes reality as Boeing's new carbon-fibre 787 Dreamliner heralds a new age of air travel
Posted on 09/26/2011 8:05:35 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY
Aluminium has been the standard material used in aircraft for more than a century - even the Wright brothers' famous first flight in 1903 used an aircraft made partially from the metal. But the 'aluminium age' could be about to end - with the delivery of the first large-scale commercial aircraft made using 50 per cent 'composite materials' including plastics and carbon fibre.
The much-delayed Boeing Dreamliner 787 has a range of 10,000 miles, is far quieter than ordinary jets, and is constructed using a 'moulding' process that has eliminated 1,500 aluminum sheets and 50,000 fasteners. It's also three years late - and has cost a reported $32billion.
Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 programme, said: 'It took a lot of hard work to get to this day.'
The aircraft has been much delayed - its maiden flight was delayed for more than two years - and will cost up to $200 million. The delays are reported to have cost maker Boeing more than $32 billion.
It offers hi-tech entertainment with Android touchscreens built into every seat - even in Economy. The 'composite' design - using mixed materials such as titanium and carbon fibre - is believed to have been a spur for rival Airbus to incorporate carbon fibre in future aircraft.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Can’t quite makenout the writing, does it say “made in China”
Might as well - it’s made here in Renton WA by the machinist’s union. I’ve watched them fly overhead many times now - quite the bird. Quiet.
I'd rather have a parachute, and maybe a fire-proof tarp.
Boeing has no choice - even the enginerds are union.
I doubt it’s a mistake. Probably just wanted something fast to use and modified their 777 stairway.
I am wondering about the wistful blue thing on the hull by the stair bumper, though. Overspray?
The 777 was a mistake. Not the stairs. They just tuned them up to adapt to the new nomenclature. The blue thing I think is a rag to protect the fuselage, maybe.
Blue ice from the crapper...
I think that's a rag.....
I wouldnt trust a repair on plastic.They think they know what time X will be on these airframes.I’d hate to be the one that finds that out the hard way.
To play devil’s advocate. I remember when everyone at the gun show said the same thing about the Glock. Something along the lines of “cheap plastic piece of crap”. Everyone is making plastic guns now..... I wonder why?
I used to work in aerospace. Airliners made from aluminum alloys have a definite fatigue life. Past a certain number of cycles, they’re no longer trustworthy without extensive inspections and/or overhaul (to include re-skinning or replacement of structural members). I’m not that familiar with carbon fiber composites, but I’ve heard that properly designed and fabricated composites are stronger by weight than steel, and have have better fatigue life than aluminum alloys. I’m sure the 787 structures have been extensively tested at the coupon, and airframe level to validate predicted life; that’s how we did it in the rocket engine business. I would be more than willing to fly on a 787 versus an old plane. Remember the Aloha Airline 737 that turned into an open top airplane? That’s metal fatigue in action.
There is no highway in the sky. But I would be a heck of a lot more confident in a high-cycle carbon fiber structure than I would in a high-cycle aluminum structure. Composites may have issues, but aluminum metal fatigue is a known and even bigger issue.
The big thing about composites is build quality. I trust Boeing to get this right.
My passion is old airplanes(metal)restorations namely B-17s.The plane we are working on now just turned 70 years old and is still going strong.70 years.You wont see that with the plastic birds.I’ll dance with the one that brung me.:)
Is there any of the original metal on that bird that was there when it rolled of the assembly line? I wonder about that when the B-52 is brought up. Some of those birds are decades old. How much of the original aircraft still exists and still flying? Boeing does build some VERY GOOD aircraft. Always have. Hopefully always will.
Most of the 17s flying are majority original manufactured parts.We are starting to rebuild wrecks that 20 years ago were not worth the rebuild costs.They are now and will be majority new metal but will be built to original specs.(We’re picky sumbitches)
Hat’s off to you. I love those WW2 warbirds and hope they can be kept flying as long as possible. I grew up building plastic models of these great planes. I hope the composite planes last as long.
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