Boeing's 'Dreamliner' Is Closer To Reality

By John S. McClenahen With a firm order for 50 aircraft from Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA), the Boeing Co.'s board on April 26 approved the formal launch of the 7E7 "Dreamliner" passenger jet. According to Boeing, ANA is slated to begin taking delivery of the twin-jet aircraft in 2008 in a deal worth about $6 billion at list prices. Production of the 7E7 is slated to begin in 2006, and the first flight is expected in 2007. The 7E7 is actually a family of aircraft, with 200 to 300 seats and a range of 3,500 nautical miles to 8,500 nautical miles. The technologically advanced aircraft is expected to make extensive use of composite materials. Boeing has yet to announce a decision on whether to stay with the 7E7 designation for the new aircraft, continue the numbering series begun with the 707 (787 and 797 are unused) or begin a new numbering series.

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