After years of setbacks, aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing delivered the first 787 Dreamliner to Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) on Sunday.
Although the Dreamliner had originally been slated for delivery in 2008, numerous delays – the most recent being an on-board fire during test flights in January – prevented those deadlines from being met.
Getting the new 787 Dreamliner ready for delivery after numerous setbacks didn’t come cheap for Boeing, however; a conservative estimate from The Seattle Times pegs a $32 billion price tag on Boeing’s total investments into the aircraft.
“The plane may be the best plane ever produced, but in losing money it may also be the record holder,” said aviation firm Avitas’ Adam Pilarski.
Rather than the typical aluminum skin found on most aircraft, the majority of Boeing’s 787 is covered in carbon fiber, a high-tech, lightweight plastic commonly found in military planes and in portions of other jetliners.
In addition to enhancements to the build of the craft, the new jet, which has been pitched as a “game changer” from its onset, features a multitude of internal improvements all implemented to allow passengers to arrive at their destinations more refreshed.
So far Boeing has 821 orders for the 787, which it says is 20% more fuel efficient than the similarly-sized planes currently being used.
Seating a maximum of 290 passengers in the largest 787-9 version, the 787 is much smaller than Boeing’s 747 jumbo jet and, as a result, much more maneuverable, making it easier for pilots to fly more “precisely”.