Yesterday, I took a look how All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Boeing have worked together to prepare and train for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Today, we will explore how ANA directed some of the 787’s development and how their relationship with Boeing and other vendors will continue after they take delivery of the first Dreamliner.
ALL NIPPON AIRWAY’S INPUT
A large benefit of being the launch customer is that the airline gets to have influence over the development of the aircraft. ANA has been able to have a positive impact on the development of the 787 and Boeing has welcomed their input. Finding out how to make the 787 Dreamliner the best plane possible became a team effort. ANA reached out to employees throughout the company to determine what they would like to see in the new plane.
“ANA is much more than a customer for the 787 program. ANA has been a partner in helping us to make important decisions and in understanding our challenges and the solutions that have been developed,” Scott Fancher, Vice President and General Manager of the 787 Program stated.
On many other aircraft, the front cockpit windows will open, allowing the crew to clean them if needed. The Dreamliner did not have opening windows, so ANA worked with Boeing to develop a window washer system, like you might find on a car that performs that function. ANA has also requested that Boeing develop oxygen masks that would better fit to the shape of Asian face.
EROS which is the manufacturer of the oxygen masks reviewed the data base to fit the various racial faces.
Most of the ideas proposed by ANA have been accepted by Boeing. “During our discussions, Boeing understood ANA’s requests,” Mr. Kikuchi explained. “Almost 70% of our unique requests have been implemented on the airplane.”
POST DREAMLINER DELIVERY
According to the most recent buzz, the first 787 Dreamliner is scheduled to be delivered to ANA as early as July 2011. Flight Global reports that the eighth 787 (ZA101) is currently set to be the first aircraft delivered to ANA, configured in a two-class, medium to short-haul set up. According to Boeing, they are not planning to sell the first three test planes, but do plan to sell the rest of the Dreamliners currently being used for testing.
Once Boeing hands over the keys of the first Dreamliner to ANA, the airline and aircraft manufacture will still have a very close relationship in continuing to assist with the development of the 787. For the first three months of ownership, Mr Kikuchi explained that Boeing and other vendors will support ANA strongly.
“We are working hard to finish our remaining requirements and look forward to a grand celebration of our first delivery with our good friends from ANA later this year,” Boeing’s Fancher said. “That delivery will be the first of many and each will be an opportunity to work together and celebrate our mutual accomplishments.”
ANA is very pleased to be the first customer for the 787 and it shows. Much of their marketing has the Dreamliner prominently displayed and even their business cards have “787, We Fly 1st” printed on them.
All Nippon Airways already has a large presence with over 180 aircraft and over 70 destinations world-wide. They have flown many different types of aircraft since being founded in 1952; from DC-3s to Boeing 727s, they are no stranger to different aircraft types.
The Dreamliner will allow them to be the first to fly the next generation airliner and for many that is a very exciting prospect. It has to be even more exciting for the employees of ANA to know they have had such a direct impact with the 787’s development and that is something to be very proud of.