Social Innovation: Touchdown of the New Iconic Boeing 787

Ladies and Gentleman, fasten your seatbelts, we finally have touchdown. The U.K. airlines welcomed the arrival of the much-delayed Boeing's new social innovation “green’ plane”— the 787 Dreamliner. It has been well worth the three-year delay, as this new aeroplane is very fuel-efficient with an on-board atmosphere designed to —wait for this—cut down on jetlag. The first Dreamliner flew from Boeing's headquarters in Seattle, in the U.S. to Japan on 28 September 2011 to join the Japanese fleet carrier ANA, which will operate the 787's first passenger flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong at the end of this October.

Boeing has battled to bring this hi-tech social innovation plane into service because it was hit by a host of production difficulties. As a result a number of U.K. airlines have had long waits for their Dreamliners to be delivered. British Airways (BA) has ordered 24, with the first due to arrive in 2013 and Sir Richard Branson's airline, Virgin Atlantic, will take delivery of the first of 15 Dreamliners in spring 2014. Virgin said its Dreamliners would replace its Airbus A340s. BA and Virgin Atlantic will both be using Rolls-Royce engines to power their Dreamliners.

At takeoff the Rolls Royce engines will generate the same power as produced by a Formula One racing car. The temperature inside the hottest parts of the engine are as half as hot as the surface of the sun. Mark King, Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace President says, "We are very proud to power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, an aircraft that represents a quantum leap in social innovation technology over the generation of airliners it will replace. It marks the beginning of a new era of cleaner and more-efficient airliners and all of us at Rolls-Royce would like to congratulate Boeing and ANA on this major milestone for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner."

Boeing says that its new plane is "more fuel-efficient and provides lower operating costs. Passengers will appreciate the cleaner cabin air, higher humidity and lower cabin altitude that combine to help them feel more refreshed after flying on the 787." The revolutionary social innovation carbon fibre design is expected to hand 20% fuel savings to airlines struggling to avoid a new recession, and give passengers a more comfortable ride with better cabin air and large electronically dimmable windows.

The United Kingdom’s aerospace industry is the world’s second largest behind the U.S., with a 17% global market share. Consequently, the health of the sector and success of new launches such as the 787 has a major impact in Britain. This new iconic Boeing 787 represents the future of commercial aircraft design and social innovation, which maximises fuel efficiency: a much better way to fly.

Photo Credit: The Boeing Company website