On the newest illustrations from Boeing for the 787, the most striking thing I've noticed has been the relatively small size of the vertical stabilizer as compared to other jets in its class.
Now, I realize that the size of that part of the empenage is calculated based on the length of the fuselage, the amount of asymmetric thrust that can be expected on engine failure, and all the other data points around the lever of thrust and CG...so my question is, what's unique about the 787's geometry that I'm not noticing that allows it to be so small?
I know that if your flight computers can react to an asym thrust scenario quickly enough, and you make the tail/rudder/actuators strong enough, it'd be possible to reduce the size since you wouldn't be tied to pilot reaction time. Could this be part of it?
Or is simply my eyes playing tricks on me?