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A Faster, Cheaper Way To Fly?

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You heard about all the problems with Boeing’s Dreamliner earlier this year. Most of the problems were with the batteries causing fires, but they seem to have that problem worked out. The problems were with the 787-8 version. Over the weekend the company introduced the first 787-9 version.

What’s the difference between the two? The new version is 20 feet longer and holds 40 more passengers.

It also has a greater range. At between 8,000-8,500 nautical miles, it’s about 300 nautical miles further than the previous version.

And what really has airlines really lining up to bury them is the planes use 20 percent less fuel than other planes of the same size. So for the airlines it makes it a cheaper and faster way to transport passengers. The big question is, will the savings for the airlines mean cheaper fares for passengers?

The first plane that rolled out of the factory in Everett, Washington over the weekend is headed to Air New Zealand – the first customer.

Boeing has a 82 orders for the planes, 42 from American Airlines. Singapore Airlines has ordered 30.

What’s incredible is that many of the parts of the plane are subcontracted. The wings made in Japan. The main body made in Italy. All the doors are made in Sweden. Electronics come from India. Landing gear made by a company with factories in France and England. All those parts are transported by cargo plane to Boeing’s assembly plant and it takes about three days to put it all together.

Some of the features of the plane – it has bigger windows, but there’s no pull down shade. Instead you can dim the light that comes through them. It pressurizes at 6,000 feet rather than 8,000 feet making motion sickness less likely.

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