Also check out: PHOTO TOUR OF THE ANTONOV AN-124
Also check out: PHOTO TOUR OF THE ANTONOV AN-124
When presenting the aircraft, Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker stated: “Qatar Airways has been highly anticipating the arrival of our Boeing 787 aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show, and are proud to share this milestone with the world during the unveiling of our new Dreamliner.”
Although ANA’s and JAL’s products were nice, Qatar really took the interior of their 787 to the next level — especially with their Business Class product.
The Business Class seats on the aircraft are laid out in a 1-2-1 format, where the 232 economy seats are in a 3-3-3 format.
This is the first Dreamliner we have seen in a 3-3-3 economy set up, where the ones previously have been a 2-4-2 layout. I was actually surprised how spacious the economy cabin felt, realizing that there was an extra seat in each row. I only sat in an economy seat for about a minute and it seemed fine, but a ten hour flight might be a bit different.
Each seat has an iTouch touch remote control, which accesses over 1000 entertainment options.
The interior was quite impressive, but seeing Qatar’s Dreamliner flying at the airshow was even more so. Historically, Boeing has not flown any of their aircraft at the airshow, so this was a special treat.
Living just minutes away from Paine Field (where the 787 is built) I have seen plenty of 787 Dreamliners flying, but never like this. The 787 looked natural flying above Farnborough, completing aggressive maneuvers, showing off. Sure, there were no Tex Johnston style rolls, but it was still inspiring none-the-less.
The 787 left Farnborough early to return back to Seattle to have the final touches done before being delivered to Qatar by early September. The airline has 60 787s on order and Boeing is expecting to deliver five of them to Qatar before the end of the year.
After delivery, Qatar plans to use their first 787 flying between Doha to London Heathrow.
ADDITIONAL QATAR AIRWAYS BOEING 787 PHOTOS (even more on Flickr):
Previously, Boeing’s third 787 Dreamliner, called ZA003, was a test bed for certifying the aircraft and only contained a partial interior. Now that the first two 787s have started operations with All Nippon Airways, Boeing decided to transfrom ZA003 from a testbed into a show horse. ZA003’s first stop is the Dubai Airshow, where she recently landed and showed off her new paint scheme containing 56 tail icons representing all the current Dreamliner customers.
Back in October, when Boeing reveled ZA003’s new livery in an updated Dreamliner livery, it was not clear what Boeing had in mind for the aircraft. Many assumed it would be used to promote the 787 and that is exactly what Boeing had in mind. ZA003 will be on display at the Dubai airshow from November 13th to 16th to drum up additional orders from airlines or heck, even private buyers — this is the middle east after all.
Boeing has released some photos of ZA003’s new interior and I figured they were worth sharing. This is the first time seeing a real Dreamliner interior in a nine-abreast layout in economy. Both of ANA’s 787s have eight abreast in a 2-4-2 layout and ZA003 is set up in a 3-3-3 configuration.
Randy Tinseth, who is the Vice President, Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, stated on his blog, “For the first time that I’ve ever seen, the group turned right as they entered the door instead of turning left for the cockpit. That’s how excited they were to check out the interior of the airplane that we recently installed to highlight the passenger experience.”
This is a huge improvement versus what the interior looked like previously. At the time, I remember thinking how great that ZA003’s interior first looked during my visit tour inside. Now, it looks quite lame, compared to it’s updated interior and that of ANA’s 787s.
So, where will ZA003 go next? Boeing is not quite saying. “As we’ve mentioned we have big plans for this airplane but we’re not quite ready to spell them out at this time,” Boeing spokesperson Scott Lefeber explained to AirlineReporter.com. “Planning for large events is complex and requires a great deal of integration. When we’re ready to make an announcement and provide you with meaningful details, we certainly will do that.”
Since the outside and the inside of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is so amazing, I wanted to divide the photo posts into two. Earlier, I posted the interior tour of ANA’s first Boeing 787 and now it is time to take a look at the outside. Media was invited by Boeing and ANA to experience the roll out of this historic aircraft. It might not have been the first 787 to fly (this is airplane #8, called ZA101), but it will be the first Dreamliner to carry passengers.
ANA announced a special 787 livery that would go on their first two Dreamliners during the Paris Airshow. They showed off nice looking computer renderings, but of course it is hard to get a full feel of a new livery without seeing it in person (or seeing photos). Media folks were lined up waiting to watch the paint hangar doors open. With the sound of bells, the door slowly opened up, showing off the 787’s new paint scheme. I know on previous comments some of you have been skeptical of this special livery. It is a bit different, but I can tell you that it looks more amazing in person and I really like it.
As the 787 Dreamliner was being towed into place I was doing video and social media (I had a great friend, Nick Smith, helping me out with photos) and I wasn’t realizing how close the plane was getting to us. I was sitting on the ground and the right engine passed with-in a few feet as the wing went over head. Even the non-aviation geek media couldn’t help but say how awesome that was. The lighting for photos wasn’t the best, but this is the standard way the tug pulls aircraft out of the paint hangar and Boeing didn’t want to risk changing how things are done with the first 787 to be delivered.
ANA’s first two 787 Dreamliners will have this livery and the other 53 they have on order will sport their standard livery. I was told these liveries will last the life of the paint, which is expected to be about five to six years before it will need to be re-painted. Unfortunately there was no update from Boeing or ANA on when this aircraft will officially be handed over to the airline. At this point, it is expected it should be delivered sometime in September and about a month after that ANA will put the aircraft into service.