Boeing's 787 Dreamliner made its US debut on Sunday, with a commercial Japan Airlines flight from Tokyo to Boston. The aircraft has already been incorporated into All Nippon Airways' fleet of passenger planes, but Sunday's flight marked the 787's first foray into the US, as well as its maiden transpacific voyage. Japan Airlines also became the first carrier to offer non-stop service from Boston to Asia.
The 787 Dreamliner completed its first trip to Europe in January, and began offering passenger service within Japan last fall, after a series of manufacturing delays and setbacks. Made primarily from carbon fiber, the craft is the first to be built with a composite fuselage, and features new, more fuel-efficient engines, as well as a sleeker design. Inside, passengers will find windows that are 1.3 times larger than conventional frames, along with liquid crystal electric shades. The plane's GE engines, meanwhile, feature nacelles with notched edges, designed to reduce noise.
Rather than build a hulking jumbo jet on par with Airbus' A380, Boeing instead decided to focus on fuel efficiency, in the hopes that the Dreamliner's lower fuel costs would encourage carriers to offer longer, non-stop flights. Sunday's flight from Tokyo to Boston, for instance, totaled between 12 and 13 hours.
So far, Boeing has delivered a total of nine 787 Dreamliners, all of which were manufactured at its headquarters in Seattle. There are 850 on order, however, including the first to be produced at the company's new plant in South Carolina. That plane will make its first voyage this Friday.