Monday, October 1, 2012

Boeing 737 Dreamliner in India - suffers a bird hit


On July 13, 2011, I had posted about the dream plane - American aircraft manufacturer Boeing's most-anticipated passenger jet - the 787 Dreamliner aircraft – landing in the Capital on its maiden visit

Air India is amongst the first few in the world to receive the modern passenger jet.  The dreamliner is from the stables of Boeing - The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defence corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers by revenue, orders and deliveries. 

According to the Manufacturer, the 787 is a family of airplanes in the 200- to 300-seat class that will carry passengers on routes between 3,500 and 8,500 nautical miles (6,500 to 16,000 kilometers). The 787 will allow airlines to offer passengers more of what they want: affordable, comfortable, nonstop, point-to-point travel to more destinations around the world.  In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 will fly at Mach 0.85, as fast as today's fastest commercial airplanes, while using much less fuel. Using 20 percent less fuel per passenger than similarly sized airplanes, the 787 is designed for the environment with lower emissions and quieter takeoffs and landings. Inside the airplane, passengers will find cleaner air, bigger windows, more stowage space and improved lighting.  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.   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. 

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. 

On 8th Sept. 12, the first of Air India’s advanced Boeing 787 Dreamliner touched down at the Indira Gandhi International Airport adding a new chapter to the struggling national carrier’s history.

The plane, painted in the red and yellow colours of the airline, landed at the main runway at 5 p.m. and was given the water cannon salute as it taxied to the bay. Traditional pujas such as breaking of coconut to mark the first flight of the Dreamliner were also conducted.  Air India chairman and managing director Rohit Nandan and senior Civil Aviation Ministry and airline officials were present to receive the state-of-the-art aircraft.  It was stated that the long haul aircraft took around 15 hours of flying time from the Boeing’s Charleston facility in South Carolina in the U.S. to Delhi plus a 90-minute stopover at Frankfurt for re-fuelling.  Air India, which ordered 27 Dreamliners six years ago, will get two more in the next few weeks. A total of eight will arrive by March 2013.

The aircraft is expected to become the mainstay of AI’s global operations and is being touted as key to its turnaround plan. For AI, the plane has been configured to have 256 seats — 18 full-flat business class seats and 238 in economy. Its sophisticated features include mood lighting inside the cabin and large LCD display screens for in-flight entertainment.  For the next two months, AI will use the B-787s on select sectors such as Delhi-Dubai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Bangalore and Delhi-Amritsar for the crew to practise more landings and take-offs. So far, 65 pilots have been trained to fly it.

On Vinayaka Chathurthi day – 19th Sept 12, Dreamliner landed at Chennai for the first time and was accorded ceremonial welcome.  Earlier it reported its first glitch. The cooling system of an Air India Boeing Dreamliner going from New Delhi to Bangalore failed. The Dreamliner, which was taxiing for take-off was forced to return back to the bay following the minor glitch. Due to the fault, the flight from New Delhi to Bangalore was reported to have been  delayed by about two hours.

Now another minor incident – a Dreamliner carrying 127 passengers from New Delhi, suffered a bird hit while landing at the Bangalore airport on Thursday morning (27-09-12), airport sources said.  The incident did not cause any harm to the passengers, they said.  There was no damage to the aircraft and it later took off for its return journey to New Delhi, an Air India spokesperson said. The incident happened at around 9 a.m. when the Air India flight (AI 803) from New Delhi with 127 passengers on board was landing at the Bangalore airport. The aircraft made a normal landing and all the passengers were de-planed safely, sources added.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
28th Sept. 2012

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