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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Boeing 787 Dreamliner lands at Delhi under coloured plumes

American aircraft manufacturer Boeing's most-anticipated passenger jet - the 787 Dreamliner aircraft - landed in the Capital on its maiden visit early today [13th July 2011].  The most advanced aircraft is to be stationed here for the next two days.  The national carrier Air India will get its first-demo trials on the aircraft. The airline will be amongst the first in the world to receive the modern passenger jet in the fourth quarter of the year.  Boeing India President was quoted as saying that ‘Air India will get its first demo-trial’.    After New Delhi, the aircraft will fly to Mumbai on July 15 where it will be kept for a day.  Earlier there were reports that  Boeing 787 Dreamliner would be welcome at Delhi by the private airport operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL)  with a water cannon salute.

The dreamliner is from the stables of Boeing - The Boeing Company  is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington.  Boeing is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers by revenue, orders and deliveries, and the third largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world based on defense-related revenue.  Boeing is the largest exporter by value in the United States 

Worldwide, Boeing has sold 857 of these jumbos.  With the overwhelming preference of airlines around the world, India is not lagging behind.  Soon there would be more dreamliners dotting Indian skies as Air India  is reported to have  booked 27 Boeing 787s in 2006 in a mega deal for 68 aircraft from Boeing. Of these, 50 were for its own fleet and 18 for its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express that flies on short-haul international routes.  Apart from the 27 Boeing 787s, the order also includes a mix of Boeing 777s and Boeing 737s.  A further  10 reportedly has been ordered by Jet Airways.

There have been much bigger jumbo aircrafts but this one claims to be super efficient.  The Boeing 787 is expected to be 20% more fuel-efficient than other aircraft its size. The range of the aircraft is between 8,000 and 8,500 nautical miles, almost similar to the A380.  While aircrafts are usually made of aluminum, almost 50% of the Dreamliner’s primary structure — including its fuselage and wings — is made of composite materials.

An international team of top aerospace companies was involved in development of the airplane at  Everett, Wash. Facility of Boeing near Seattle.  The 787-8 Dreamliner will carry 210 - 250 passengers on routes of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 kilometers), while the 787-9 Dreamliner will carry 250 - 290 passengers on routes of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 kilometers).  In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 will provide airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance. The airplane will use 20 percent less fuel for comparable missions than today's similarly sized airplane. It will also travel at speeds similar to today's fastest wide bodies,  and  will provide opportunity for  Airlines to enjoy more cargo revenue capacity.

According to Boeing there is something available for passengers as well in the form of an interior environment with higher humidity to increased comfort and convenience.

Boeing has offered three variants of the 787 from the program launch in 2004. The 787-8 is scheduled to enter service in 2011; the 787-9 is to enter service in 2013.  The initial design of  Boeing 787 Dreamliner reportedly was 7E7, prior to its renaming in January 2005.  The first 787 was unveiled in a roll-out ceremony on July 8, 2007, at Boeing's Everett assembly factory, by which time it had become the fastest-selling wide-body airliner in history with 677 orders.  The airliner's maiden flight took place on December 15, 2009.

There are various ways of welcome and flights often receive ceremonial water salute.  A  water salute occurs for ceremonial purposes when a vehicle travels under plumes of water expelled by two or more fire fighting vehicles.  At an airport, typically an even number of vehicles will line up perpendicular on the sides of the taxiway or apron, and the plumes of water will form a series of arches. Symbolically the procession would look similar to a bridal party walking under a wedding arch or the Arch of Sabres at a military wedding.

Water salutes have been used to mark the retirement of a senior pilot, air traffic controller or the first or last flight of an airline to an airport, or for other notable events. When the Concorde flew its last flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport blue, white and red coloured plumes were used.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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