"How the 787 was Born" - Seattel Post Article

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smokejumper
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"How the 787 was Born" - Seattel Post Article

Post by smokejumper »

Article in today's Seattle Post about the history of the 787 and how it came about. See;

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/ ... ner29.html

As the rollout comes closer, I guess we can see more PR stories about the plane.

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MrAirbus
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Post by MrAirbus »

Thanks! Nice to read! Even if I hate the plane!

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TUB001
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Post by TUB001 »

MrAirbus wrote:Even if I hate the plane!
I hope you don't feel too lonely then :wink:
But I'm sure you have excellent reasons to "hate" this plane :roll:

Anyway nice article to read! Thanks for sharing!

RC20
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Post by RC20 »

MrAirbus wrote:Thanks! Nice to read! Even if I hate the plane!
Dislike the company maybe, but hate the airplane?

It looks to be a fine one. And while I am not an Airbus fan, I don't hate the A320 or the A330, both are good aircraft.

Nothing wrong with the A340, its not good in my view in that it went the wrong way (4 engines for its class) and I am skeptical of the success of the A380 (very skeptical actually-and I wonder about just how well it meets its performance specifications still).

Now Leahy, him I loathe.

boeing797
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Post by boeing797 »

I guess Mr. Airbus and TBU*** used to be Airbus employees just getting laid off recently. I completely syphathized with their hatred towards B787.

RC20
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Post by RC20 »

The article totally refutes that the Sonic Cruiser was a failure.

Along with the technologies the SC brought to the table it also provided the sharp contrast that was needed for the airline execs to clearly see what the trade off was between economy and speed. Economy wins all the time (interesting to see that at least some people were willing to accept as slow Mach .8 when that was one of the complaints about the first A350 that it was too slow).

Also interesting the comment that it sets in place the technologies for the next generation of two of aircraft. How often can a company set its technology path in place next 20-30 years?

Yes there will be variations of it, but the fundamental approach for that long, that’s a priceless gift for one generation of engineers to hand to their company. It seldom (virtually never) happens in this day and age.

And some interesting risks they took as well.

The “more electric” design I believe is right in line with that. Like autos, there is going to be more and more pax stuff power by the aircraft, and for that you need a system that can do it. With that in place, no matter what needs to be plugged in, you have the distribution infrastructure on the aircraft to do it, and the power as well. Adding it in latter would come at a large cost.

Airbus is benefiting on this as well, as while they are not going nearly as much electric, they are using the starter/generator system (and some cars have done that now as well).

I don’t think it needs anywhere close to the 1.25MW of generator power right now, nor the redundancy, but it does ensure that it stays able to supply future needs (pax needs and wants as well as the aircraft needs).

I do think the redundancy (2 generators per engine and one on the APU) is a smart hedge to ensure they can survive a failure or two.

Years back I had to make a selection on an air compressor. I was putting it on the line that it would last for 20 years. The boss wanted to verify that. That’s when I ran into the concept that there are only 8,000 hours in a year, and you cannot test something any more than that.
Sure you can run it faster, but that does not tell you what it will actually do reliability wise and wear wise at the design speed.
Right now, they know the generators work, but they will not know how reliable they are until they have a lot in service with lots of hours on them. Its so key to the aircraft function, that they need to ensure that. That way they ensure the engine start, as well as functions in flight.

Ok, now lets get that bird rolled out and onto flight.

achace
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Post by achace »

The comment about the mach 0.8 is very interesting.

Has anyone stopped to think what speed really costs.

Years ago, the Vickers Viscount had 6000 SHP, 70 pax at 300mph, or about 90 SHP per passenger.

Today with the A380 we have 160,000SHP, 525 pax and say 600mph, or 305 SHP per pax. for twice the cruising speed.

The 787 is about the same.

Remember this is installed power, and takes no notice of actual cruise power used.

Cheers
Achace

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Post by DC3 Fan »

Here are some passenger-miles per gallon numbers for passenger airliners for various years. They were extracted from a U.S. government publication on fuel efficiencies of various modes of transportation. Even if the numbers are viewed as approximations, they indicate that modern fan jets area quite efficient.

Year PM/gal*
1935: 12.3 Piston engines
1940: 16.8
1945: 27.5
1950: 21.0
1955: 23.3
1955: 25.0
1960: 17.4 Transition to jets
1965: 14.7
1970: 14.3
1970: 13.4
1975: 18.5 Turbo fans
1980: 25.8
1985: 27.4
1990: 29.2
1995: 34.2
2000: 36.4
* Passenger miles per gallon
of aviation gasoline equivalent.
Jet fuel has more energy per
gallon than gasoline. These numbers
are adjusted to allow piston
engined planes to be compared
with turbine powered planes.

achace
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Post by achace »

Those fuel consumption figures sure illustrate how much more efficient engines have become, and also more reliable.

The point I was trying to make was the enormous increase required in installed power to travel twice the speed of the sixties.

If mach 0.8 was ok, the engine output could have been quite a bit less.

I guess one thing this forum notices is how the market keeps changing its view. Undoubtedly the new emission discussions are going to impact on how planes will operate.

Because of the profile of a gas turbine specific fuel consumption curve is not a severe as say a diesel engine,slower will mean greener!

Cheers
Achace

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Post by DC3 Fan »

Yes, I agree. Another factor is that the power of jet engines allows airliners to fly at approximately 2 times the altitudes of even pressurized piston powered planes or higher. (I remember flying across the US in DC-6s and Super Connies at 18,000 ft) The air density at typical jet flight levels is about half the density at piston altitudes, thus they can go much faster for a given thrust. Some business jets can cruise at 51,000 ft and the Concord could operate at 60,000 ft.

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TUB001
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Post by TUB001 »

boeing797 wrote:I guess Mr. Airbus and TBU*** used to be Airbus employees just getting laid off recently. I completely syphathized with their hatred towards B787.
I guess you didn't get the point. I don't hate the plane, I just love the 787 :wink:

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