“The graceful arc of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s upwardly swept wings wowed the large crowd of Boeing employees and spectators at Paine Field in Everett on Tuesday and underscored that this was no conventional airliner. Viewed from behind as the plane took off on its first flight, the slender wingtip-to-wingtip curve of the first mostly composite passenger jet impressed even Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney, an aviation veteran. ‘Those composite wings, they just look different than any other wings that have ever flown,’ McNerney said after the plane had disappeared from sight. The plane’s carbon-fiber composite plastic wings are lighter and more flexible than those in standard metal airplanes, and their elegant curvature in flight distinctively marks the new jet. In the airplane business, however, beauty won’t be enough. Boeing won’t secure its financial future until the innovative but much-delayed jet proves itself over the next nine months of flight tests and can be delivered to eager customers.”
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