United’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner (N20904) seen at Paine Field in early August 2012.
On Saturday, United Airlines officially took financial delivery of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. However, the aircraft is still in Seattle and is expected to be flown to Houston later this week.
BONUS: Photo tour of United Airlines first Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Jeff Smisek, president and CEO of United, said, â€œAs the North American launch customer, we are delighted to be getting our first 787 Dreamliner. As we continue to build the worldâ€™s leading airline, we are excited for our customers and co-workers to experience this game-changing aircraft.â€
Oddly, the 787 will depart from Boeing Field (which is located south of Seattle), where most delivery flights for the 747, 767, 777 and 787 leave from Paine Field. Each airline has the option to decide how they will take delivery. Some do it very quietly and others throw a huge party. I would suspect that United would want to throw a huge party, but no word on what that might look like — yet.
Infographic on the 787 Dreamliner by United Airlines (CLICK FOR LARGER).
After arriving in Houston, the 787 and crew will go through a month-long training and certification program. The airline will also be flying the aircraft (without passengers) to some of their hubs to show it off.
United’s Dreamliner will start domestic service on November and then international service in December.
“This 787 delivery represents the continuation in the more than 80-year partnership between our two companies,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “United now begins a new chapter with the 787 Dreamliner, the most technologically advanced commercial jetliner ever built. It reinforces United’s commitment to be the world’s leading airline by providing unmatched fuel efficiency and passenger comfort.”
Currently, ANA, JAL and Ethiopian are the only airlines with 787s in service.Â LAN has taken delivery of their first one, but have not yet put it into service. It is exciting to see an American airline take delivery and soon enter this next generation aircraft into service.
SOME UNITED HISTORICAL FUN FROM AIRCHIVE.COM:
* 1958 United DC-8 brochure
* The Friend Ship Boeing 747 introduction brochure from 1960
* Boeing 777 (which United was the launch customer) introduction brochure from 1995
You cannot have a delivery ceremony without a ribbon cutting. Image from Boeing.
Yesterday, Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Paine Field in Everett, WA. The aircraft is named “Africa First.”
“Today begins the first day in a new era of flying for our passengers and brings us even closer to our vision for the future, Vision 2025,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. “We are pleased to be the first airline in the world outside Japan to receive this technologically advanced aircraft. We have been waiting for this airplane and now that we officially have it and will show it to the world, I can say with pride, it was worth the wait. This airplane is going to move Ethiopian Airlines to the forefront of aviation leadership around the globe.”
Ethiopian’s Cloud Nine (Business Class) cabin on the 787. Image from Ethiopian Airlines.
The aircraft landed in Washington DC and will continue heading west to Bole Addis Ababa International Airport (ADD) in Ethiopia tomorrow.
“Today marks not just another milestone for Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines, but a new beginning in our 65-year partnership,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America, & Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes during the delivery ceremony. “Ethiopian Airlines continues to show their strong leadership in African aviation and their growing presence around the globe. Being the first in Africa and one of the first in the world further confirms their position globally.”
A flight attendant in the 787’s economy class. Image from Ethiopian Airlines.
Ethiopian is the first non-Japanese airline to take delivery of the Dreamliner and they have nine additional 787s on order. The airline will begin daily flights between DC and Addis Ababa using the 787 on October 20th, a route that is currently operated by a Boeing 777-200LR.
Ethiopians 787 is laid out with 24 seats in Cloud Nine and 246 seats in economy.
Ethiopian’s first 787 at Paine Field yesterday. Photo by Boeing.
ADDITIONAL ETHIOPIAN BOEING 787 PHOTOS:
United’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner seen with a quick (and not real) livery for when President Obama visiting Paine Field. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / NYCAviation.com.
Internal communications shows that United Airlines is expecting to take delivery of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner in September 2012.
United will become the first US airline to take delivery of the new aircraft.
The airline hasn’t been very specific on their expected timeline for their first Dreamliner — only publicly stating, “We expect the plane will enter revenue service in the second half of 2012. ”
Recently, they sent an internal communications to some employees that shows that United has a more detailed plan for their first 787. Over the summer, the newsletter explained that Boeing will complete the following tasks for their first 787:
- Bring electrical power onto the airplane and begin to exercise the use of the electrical systems.
- Install seats and other cabin amenities (the cabin will feature 36 United BusinessFirst flat-bed seats, 63 Economy Plus seats and 120 seats in Economy).
- Paint the 787 in United livery.
- Conduct a series of tests to prepare their 787 for delivery.
Yesterday, United posted this photo on their Facebook showing one of their two GEnx engines that were installed on their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo from United.
The document confirms their expectations for a fall delivery: “September, 2012: We expect to take delivery of our first 787. While the aircraft is expected to enter revenue service in 2012, we will first complete a variety of tests and training. This includes completing FAA conformity checks, which may require up to 100 flight hours of proving runs.”
Of course, dates of delivery are always flowing and it is very possible that United might receive their first 787 before or after September — so don’t get to attached to that month… yet.
UPDATE: I heard back from United and they stated, “We are still saying that we expect to take delivery of our first 787 in the second half of this year.” Knowing how 787 Dreamliner schedules have changed so much in the past few years, it is probably best to stick to that.
GALLERY OF UNITED’S FIRST BOEING 787 DREAMLINER:
HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Paine Field. Photo by Boeing.
Japan Airlines (JAL) announced today that they plan to take official delivery of their first 787 Dreamliner this Sunday, March 25th, with a delivery ceremony to follow on the 26th. The aircraft is then scheduled to take off from Paine Field at about 4pm local time on Monday to head to Narita in Tokyo with JAL pilots at the controls.
The airline plans to start operating their first Dreamliner on their new Boston to Tokyo route, currently scheduled to start on April 22, 2012. JAL has also announced the intention of starting 787 service between San Diego and Tokyo later in the year.
HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). Executive Class cabin on JAL's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo by Boeing.
JAL becomes the second airline to take delivery of a 787, but this aircraft will represent a few firsts: It will be the first one to be delivered with GEnx engines, the first to be commercially fly a route to the US and the first to be used on a brand new route (ANA’s 787s have replaced other aircraft on routes that already existed).
The first aircraft is configured in a two class layout, with 42 seats in business class and 144 seats in economy.
HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). The economy cabin inside JAL's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo by Boeing.
The business (or executive) class seats are in a 2-2-2 layout and provide about 60″ of seat pitch and a bit over 21″ of width. The seat will recline to about 171 degrees. The Economy class is configured in a 2-4-2 layout and will provide 31″ seat pitch and 18.5″ seat width.
HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL's Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking off at Paine Field. Photo by Boeing.
JAL’s new in-flight entertainment system, called SKY MANGA, will also debut on the aircraft. The interior has a very different looking atmosphere than ANA’s Dreamliner cabin.