Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner is one of their most energy-efficient creations yet, incorporating green technology that reduces fuel consumption and uses composite materials in the structure. In a recent test flight between Washington and Iowa, the 787 traced out the Boeing logo with its flight path over the US.
Boeing created the super-efficient jet in response to consumer demand, which has proven one of the strongest motivators in encouraging companies to “go green.” It could be said that the green technology is a marketing maneuver in and of itself, but Boeing didn’t stop there. The flight to trace the company’s logo was coordinated with air traffic controllers at many locations.
The 787 cuts fuel consumption by 20 percent, compared to conventional planes in the same size range. This is primarily made possible by engines developed by Rolls-Royce and General Electric. The green technology in the engines is estimated to be two generations more advanced than what has typically been used for middle-market jets.
50 percent of the overall structure of the 787 is created with composite materials, and other green technology changes have simplified the plane’s design itself, reducing unnecessary construction materials. Fuselage that used to be composed of several pieces, which were fastened together with thousands of aluminum sheets and bolts, is now composed of a single piece. Boeing estimates that change alone eliminates between 40,000 and 50,000 fasteners and over 1,500 sheets.
As air travel’s cost and carbon emissions are rising, Boeing’s efficient green technology is already satisfying airlines, travellers and the environment. At this time, 870 planes have been ordered by 59 clients on six different continents. Boeing calls it “the most successful . . . launch of a new commercial airplane in Boeing’s history.”
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