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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 July 2007, 03:12 GMT 04:12 UK
Boeing prepares for 787 premiere
Boeing image of its new plane
There is now eagerness to see the real Dreamliner
Plane enthusiasts around the world are awaiting the unveiling of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner at the US manufacturer's plant in Seattle.

The firm has so far received 642 orders for the midsize, long-haul jet from 46 airlines and leasing firms.

Sunday has been chosen for Dreamliner's unveiling as it is 8 July, or, in the American date style, 7/8/07.

The first flight is expected in August or September, with the plane due to go into service next year.

The first customer to get the jet will be Japan's All Nippon Airways, which is being rewarded for placing orders for 50 of the aircraft.


The Dreamliner is Boeing's first all-new plane since the 777, which began flying in 1995.

Carbon-fibre composites: 50%
Aluminium: 20%
Titanium: 15%
Steel: 10%
Other: 5%
Source: Boeing

It is crucial to Boeing's success, just as Airbus is pinning its hopes for the future on its forthcoming A380.

However, the two are very different planes with different aims.

The European firm sees its superjumbo plane as a response to airline calls for a bigger plane to meet increasing passenger numbers flying between major hubs.

However, Boeing is taking a different tack, predicting that the future growth sector will be for additional medium-sized planes that can service more of the smaller airports unable to handle the A380.

Airbus is currently developing the A350, which is more of a direct rival to the 787, but it is not expected to roll out the plane until about 2011.

Modern materials

Boeing received a boost at the Paris air show with an order for 50 of the aircraft from one of the world's biggest jet leasing groups, International Lease Finance Corps (ILFC).

The first will carry between 210 and 250 passengers up to about 9,400 miles (15,125 kms).
The second will carry between 250 and 290 passengers up to about 9,800 miles (15,770 kms)
The third will fly between 290 and 330 passengers on shorter routes, up to about 6,500 miles (10,460 kms)
Source: Boeing

Orders from plane-leasing companies - among the biggest global buyers of aircraft - are often seen as an indication of how a model will succeed in the long term.

Boeing says that the plane, the first to be built primarily from modern composite materials, was designed to be fuel-efficient.

Carbon fibre, which makes up about 50% of the structure, is lighter and more durable than aluminium.

Assembly of the first Dreamliner began in May, although Boeing says that when full operation is under way, it will take just three days to put together each aircraft.

Plane comparison graphic

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Computer simulation of the Boeing 787 in flight

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