Boeing 787 Dreamliner Spotting Guide


Background and Development of the 787 Dreamliner

Ethiad Airways Boeing 787-9Boeing 787-9 of Ethiad Airways

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner designed and built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Its variants seat 242 to 335 passengers in typical three-class seating configurations. It is Boeing's most fuel-efficient airliner and is a pioneering airliner with the use of composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe.

The 787 was designed to be 20% more fuel efficient than the Boeing 767.

Final assembly takes place at the Boeing Factory in Everett, Washington, and at the Boeing South Carolina factory in North Charleston, South Carolina.

A total of 1,294 Dreamliners have been ordered as of February 2018.

Boeing 787-8 and 787-9

Boeing 787-10 of United AirlinesBoeing 787-10 of United Airlines

The 787-8 was the first variant produced, and was followed by the stretched 787-9.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aircraft type designator system classifies the 787-8 and 787-9 under the codes "B788" and "B789", respectively.

Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner

The 787-10, which is 18' longer than the 787-9, was unveiled on February 17, 2017, at the Boeing South Carolina assembly plant. Its first flight was on March 31, 2017.

Delivery of the first 787-10 was on March 25, 2018, to launch customer Singapore Airlines. United Airlines began passenger service with the 787-10 in early 2019.

The 787-10 is being assembled only in South Carolina.

 

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Family Length

787 Model Overall Length Passengers
787-8 186' 1" 242 - 359
787-9 206' 1" 290 - 406
787-10 224' 0" 330 - 440

As of February 1, 2019, a total of 789 Dreamliners have been delivered to airlines around the world, with total orders of 1,421.

Boeing 787 Spotting Tips

Shown below is a side-by-side comparison of the Boeing 787-8 (top), 787-9 (middle) and Boeing 787-10 (below)

The Dreamliner's distinguishing features include one engine under each wing, swept wings with no winglets, two 4-wheel main landing gear, a sleek pointed nose, and noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles.

Also, the 787 does not have winglets or sharklets, which are used on the similar shaped Airbus A350.

Boeing 787-8,  787-9 and 787-10 comparison

Close-up view of the jagged trailing edge on the Boeing 787 engine housing.
Close-up view of jagged edge on the Boeing 787 engine.


Side-by-side view of the Boeing 787 (top) and Airbus A350 (below)
Side-by-side view of the Boeing 787 (top) and Airbus A350 (below)


The Boeing 787 cockpit features a 4-piece windshield, while the similar shaped Airbus A350 uses a 6-piece windshield.

Shown below is the windshield arrangement of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. Also shown is the windshield of the Airbus A220.

The cockpit windshield configuration of the Airbus A220 compared with the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787

 

The different configurations of the cockpit windshield, seen from a front view, on the Airbus A350 with its 6-piece windshield, and Boeing 787 with its 4-piece windshield. Also shown is the windshield configuration of the Airbus A220.
The different configurations of the cockpit windshield, seen from a front view, on the Airbus A350 (top) with its 6-piece windshield, and Boeing 787 with its 4-piece windshield (below). Also shown is the windshield configuration of the Airbus A220.


Boeing 787 Photographs

Boeing 787-9 of Japan Airlines, registration JA864J, awaiting takeoff at the DFW Airport (Staff Phohto, June, 2019)
Boeing 787-9 of Japan Airlines, registration JA864J, awaiting takeoff at the DFW Airport

Boeing 787 of China Southern Airlines on approach to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in California
Boeing 787 of China Southern Airlines on approach to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in California

Air India Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
Air India Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

 


Ethiad Airways Boeing 787-9
Ethiad Airways Boeing 787-9

The first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner delivered, to Singapore Airlines, March 25, 2018
Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner of Singapore Airlines


Boeing 787-10 Photographs Courtesy of the Boeing Co.

Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner ... front view
Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner ... front view
Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner cockpit view
Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner cockpit view
Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner ... side view
Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner ... side view

First Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner takeoff ... N528ZC

First Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner takeoff ... N528ZC

Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner in flight
Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner in flight

 

For More Information on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Visit the official website of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

 

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