Inside the 787

Now that I’m back from a great trip to South America, I wanted to share with you a short (1:30) video clip that I used in my presentations at the FIDAE air show and earlier during my visit to Brazil.

image/photo

Click on the image to take a short ride inside the 787 Dreamliner.

I’ve shown this video quite a bit in my travels, and it tells the story of what it’s going to be like flying the Dreamliner far better than I can say it in words.

Among other features, I’d be curious what you think of the electronic window shades as demonstrated in the video.

Comments (24)

Michael Malak (Denver, CO):

I have only one question (and it's the reason I subscribed to your blog on my Google Desktop): When will I be able to fly nonstop from DIA to NRT?

I.e., the 787 could be a flying tin can or it could be the Taj Mahal, but if it can present an economically attractive prospect to ANA for them to start offering the long-rumored DIANRT, I could care less what it looks like inside.

P.S. I like the video, it looks nice, but since you requested feedback, I'm just trying to express to you what's important to me as a customer. Non-stop is important. Soon is important.

Antonio (Roma, Italy):

Randy, whilst it might be cool to applaud a computer generated impression of what the Dreamliner will one day be, it speaks volumes that Boeing is asking what people think of the electronic window shades when the whole world is asking far more important and pressing questions.
I guess we will have to wait for this week's briefing, but from what is being reported in aviation blogs, wondering at marvellous dimming shades is not going to detract from news of yet another delay and more slippage.
The public and your customers need to see the company taking a firm grasp of the situation and be seen to be taking decisive, positive steps forward with more transparency and honesty.
The world is willing this airplane into the sky; don't let us down.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Nice

From what I understand, this is quite the change - in this size category. Beautiful interior architecture. Klaus Brauer and his team have done an excellent job here - as on the 747-8 Intercontinental.

ziz (Manchester UK):

Looks like another airplane to me. Dimming windows ? Neat technology but have you had complaints about sliding shade ?

Most important. Will it fly ? What exactly is the problems with the wing box - what exactly are the problems in stretchibng the Dash 7 to 8 - 11 ?

When will it fly ?

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The Boeing 787 looks great, this is not like any other airliner in history, this plane definitely has the look of modernity that may even have the art and architecture magazines looking noting the archways, large windows, and the day light simulation LED lights. I think this is certainly the most ergonomic and people friendly airliner ever designed.

One of my favorite aspects of the 787 design is the
large windows and the design of the windows being tall rather than wide, if the windows where like the
those on the Gulfstream or like the DC-8 their would probably need to be a lot of space in between the windows, with the tall windows rather close to each other you can see to the front of yourself almost like you can see above and below your head.

I like the idea of electronic window shades, this is the first electronic window shades of any airliner,
but personally I like to keep the regular shades as well. As I like to look outside I like to avoid having the sun on the next persons face particularly as the plane rolls on the turn, so I still like the shades, but the pull down shade is something that I can live without. At least with electronic shading this reduces maintenance expenses and prevents the scratching of the windows.

CHRIS GIBSON (Australia):

All very nice but when is it going to fly. The delays must be very frustrating to airlines like Qantas and Jetstar who are planning new routes based around the 787. Boeing must be very careful not to face the financial problems of Airbus with the delays to the A380. With the entry into service between the 787 and A350 narrowing some customers my decide to cancel orders for this wonderful aircraft. Come on Boeing people let’s get the machine in the air.

-----

Hi Chris,

We'll be providing a 787 program update on Wednesday.

-- Randy Tinseth

Sharon Wilson (Renton, WA):

I heard a few years ago that the 787 would or might have overhead storage dedicated to each seat. That was exciting to me. I didn't see that in the video. Is that an option that airlines can select, or was I just misinformed?

--------------

Sharon,

Yes, the overhead storage in the 787 is designed so that each passenger has space to store a standard rolling luggage bag.

- Randy Tinseth

mike:

Windows don't belong on airplanes, what's there to look at after the first three minutes of flight. I see it as an insane waste of fuel. Flying on large jets will never be a Sunday drive in the country. Think of the weight it could save in struture. Gas is never going to be cheap again and if commericial aviation plans to survive a doubling in fuel price you will need to get the windows OUT!!! I'm not kidding OUT with the windows already! Ride a train if you want to look out windows.

Gloria Pelous:

The 787 is a perfect example of why 'Globalization' is NOT the way to go! Bottom line...mega profit is NOT always the best method, how much $$$$ has Boeing lost on the globalization of the 787?

I hope Boeing learns from this costly experiment! The old adage should have been heeded...'if it's not broke, don't fix it'! Boeing has been successful by building airplanes using AMERICANS to do the job, with plants in AMERICA!

All the pictures of the 787 look like the kind of airplane I want to fly on! My biggest concern is that airlines will demolish Boeing's concept of customer comfort by demanding more seats with less space for customer comfort!

I hope the 787, does in fact become successful, & it should once Boeing American expertise fixes all the errors caused by 'global partners'!!!

Brian (Huntsville, AL):

The electronic shades like cool, but will it really take over a minute and a half to "close" the window? I like the idea of having different degrees of shade, but you should be able to completely block the light much quicker than the 100 seconds, as referenced in the video. Just my opinion.

AJ (St. Louis):

100 seconds to shade a window? I can pull the shade down in 1. Waste.

--------

A.J.,

It's something you really need to experience. You may have a different view once you're in the airplane.

The "fully dark" setting is not required to block out the irritating aspects of streaming light. So it's not going to take that long to get the effect you need. In all of our user testing to date, people have preferred the 787 window to today's window - taking both size and dimming quality into account.

-- Randy Tinseth

fernanda rubinger (belo horizonte, minas gerais, Brazil):

I ve just read a short interview on a Brazilian magazine called Exame, in which one you speak about this blog experience. I think that´s a brave initiative of yours. Unfortunately, the most part of companies - specially from my country - don´t use to have this opened conversation with their clientes.

Congratulations

Dale Cary (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia):

I still think the most exciting new features of flying on the 787 will be the cabin pressure increase and humidity increase. Any updates on these features, made possible by the CFRP fuselage?

Hernan Saldana (Lima, Peru):

I had the opportunity to see the electronic window shades in the Boeing area at FIDAE. It was a shame that they had turned off the mockup when I was there, but from the video I got a pretty good idea of how it is going to work. I do agree that it would be even better if it took a little less time to make it darker.

I also saw LAN's mockup of the space that the Dreamliner will have and looks terrific. There will be plenty of space for passengers not to feel trapped in a tin can. Well, a carbon can in this case ;-)

Ivan Charvat:

I like the variable-shade blinds (like having many pairs of sunglasses).One comment on utility: it's too much effort and time to wait 100 secs for the blinds to go fully dark. There should be a one-touch feature (as with car power windows) where it goes all the way from light to dark with one touch, and back again with one touch.

Mike C (Long Beach, California):

The electronic window shade is indeed a novel idea & I looking forward to the concept being adapted for all airplanes.

But, for me as a passenger the seat is more important, on a 15 hour to Japan it even becomes more important to be comfortable. On the same flight, I will probably fiddle around with the shade for a grand total of 15 minutes, but, I am sitting in the that seat for most of the flight.

I am talking about everything from the seat pitch to the seat cushion.

Solve the problem of a good seat that will make the passengers happy, not everyone is able to sit in 1st Class or Business class.

A.R. (Renton, WA):

Electronic window shades, as shown in the video, are too slow. It should not take 100 secs. Maybe 5 secs, max.

Similar technology has been used for quite some time on welder's masks. If I remember correctly, they go to "max dark" in 1/20,000 of a sec.

Are you considering automatic dimming to keep a comfortable light intensity in the cabin? A low sun just above the horizon will be more disturbing to everyone than before due to the larger windows.

John C. (Boston, MA):

I'm concerned that the really strong stylistic elements in the interior architecture will rapidly look dated. All those swooping curves and arches. It looks like a cool spaceship. Today's vision of tomorrow's travel. But as is well known "nothing looks so dated as yesterday's vision of tomorrow." Design that stands the test of time is normally that which is clean, functionally driven, understated.

I hope you'll encourage your successors to repeat this question in 10 years.

G. (Algonac MI):

In regards to the electronic window shades currently being touted for the 787, I feel Boeing will make a change. There's already a better technology being employed by Hawker Beechcraft. It goes between the clear and dark states within seconds (only a couple of seconds- not 30-45). They use a suspended Particle Device technology as opposed to the Electro Chromatic technology you find in your car's rearview mirror. SPD works on plastic as well, thus reducing the weight significantly. I suspect Airbus will be using SPD's to counter Boeing's EC.

G. (Algonac MI):

Here's an interesting video link showing the suspended particle device (spd) technology. It's a bit cheesy but what's important is that a better tech is emerging.

http://www.spdcontrolsystems.com/RoadrunnerDemoVideo.htm

Michael (NY, NY):

The idea of the window is very cool. However, I have to agree with other posters that 100 seconds is much too long to wait for shade when I'm trying to fall back asleep. But it's a good idea if it were faster.

I'd like to be able to tint my view without losing it.

Antony (Burnuby):

How much will it cost to ride in 787 to China.

claudine (Johannesburg, South Africa):

Why do aeroplanes switch off their cabin lights when landing and take off? thanks.cl

Randy Tinseth:

Hi Claudine -- Thanks for the note. According to my colleagues in Boeing Training and Flight Services, airline crews choose to do this because having a dim cabin helps keep passenger and crew eyes better accustomed to darkness in case there's a loss of electrical power, or if a night-time evacuation becomes necessary.

Randy

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