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Technology & Innovation

Boeing’s Braintrust

Boeing’s new aircraft is an ambitious engineering feat that sets new standards for air travel in terms of energy efficiency and design—Airbus, eat your heart out.

“Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner looks like any other airliner, so it might be hard for anyone but an airplane geek to get so excited about its inaugural flight. But the energy-efficient airliner is a bold step forward for Boeing, and for aviation. As much as the 787 Dreamliner looks like the jet that carried you on that cramped, uncomfortable flight last month, almost everything about it is new. From the extensive use of composite materials and advanced aerodynamics to its fuel-efficient Rolls Royce engines and all-electric systems, Boeing is betting the 787 will be the plane to usher in a cleaner, greener future for the airline business. Boeing claims the 787 is 20 percent more fuel-efficient than comparably sized jets. With fuel being airlines’ number one cost after payroll, Boeing’s plan to build a thriftier airplane came at just the right time, said analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group. ‘You get one shot a decade to launch an all-new product, and in terms of what customers were looking for, they got it right,’ he says. ‘They designed something that is just what airlines want for their premium customers, an efficient airplane for point-to-point international routes.’”


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