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777222LR
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The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:28 am

For the longest time, I have not been able to get a grasp on the full size of the 787. By sheer numbers, it should be about as big and substantial as an A330-200, but having a greater wingspan to some degree. The 787's engines are not that much smaller than a 777 either. But something that bugs me about the airplane is that it somehow seems much smaller, than even an A332, almost the size of a 767 to me, at least visually, even though I know this is not the case.

Here's what I have felt has caused my eyes to believe this.

1. The windows and cockpit windows are HUGE. Because of their size, and their wider spacing, when looking at the fuselage, they make the fuselage seem smaller and shorter than what it really is.

2. The engine nacelles have a larger "lip" on them, which makes them look less substantial than what they are.

3. The 787 has shorter landing gear when proportionally compared to the 777 or A330.

4. The vertical stabilizer is thinner than other aircraft of this size.


These things combined, make the 787 look less substantial to me. What I really need, is that one time shot of it next to an A330, 777, and 767 to get an accurate comparison. I know there is something similar here on A.net in Manchester of an Ethiopian I believe. But I guess I will not get a full feel of the size until then.

Does anyone agree with what I'm trying to explain here? Can anyone provide any good pictures of the size of this aircraft in relation to other planes/objects? I'm just having a hard time figuring out the size of this aircraft in relation to space.

Thanks!
 
Clydenairways
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:04 pm

I get that impression from looking at the pictures too.

Your points are all correct but i will also include the fact that it is much fatter than a 767, which is making it look a bit like the 767-200 but in fact it is much much bigger.
 
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zkojq
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:08 pm

Quoting 777222LR (Thread starter):
But something that bugs me about the airplane is that it somehow seems much smaller, than even an A332, almost the size of a 767 to me, at least visually, even though I know this is not the case.

I was very much struck by this the first time I saw it in the metal (or CFRP to be exact). To me the 787-8 looks rather stubby and kind-of awkward. Still beautiful though.

Quoting 777222LR (Thread starter):
Here's what I have felt has caused my eyes to believe this.

I agree with all of those and would add:

5. The radome is very low on the 787 and there is only a little difference in height between the bottom of the radome and the bottom of the fuselage. This height difference is a lot greater on the 767 (as the photo below highlights) and gives the 787 a bigger forehead.


6. The fuselage diameter is actually a bit bigger than that of the A330.
First to fly the 787-9
 
airbazar
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:22 pm

I get the same exact feeling. It doesn't even look as big as a 763, but obviously it is.
I get a similar illusion when looking at an A388. It doesn't look that big on its own, not nearly as big as a 747, and it has much of the same characteristics as a 787.
 
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777222LR
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:24 pm


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Wim Callaert



This is the image I was talking about. You can tell it's about the same size as the A330 (though the one behind it is a longer A333). But still, it's just very hard, visually, for me to see it. But look at the window size comparison!
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:24 pm

I have a picture of one on my desk and most people think it's the size of a 737-800. How they get that I don't know but when I dig out a picture of a DC-10 parked in the same spot they seem amazed that the 787 is the same size.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
georgiaame
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:22 pm

Saw one of the JAL aircraft in NRT a few weeks ago taking off. Looks like a somewhat stubby 767, but with VERY long, very saber-like, bendable wings on takeoff. It does not look like a "large" aircraft.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:42 pm

The cockpit windows have always thrown me. Proportionally, they do make the plane seem like a much smaller plane but I got my eyes opened when I saw the 787 at Oshkosh last year...it is massive.

The only thing that brings a picture into proportion for me is paying attention to the passenger windows...they're the biggest but they seem tiny in pics.
What the...?
 
ORDfan
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:25 pm

Quoting 777222LR (Thread starter):
These things combined, make the 787 look less substantial to me. What I really need, is that one time shot of it next to an A330, 777, and 767 to get an accurate comparison. I know there is something similar here on A.net in Manchester of an Ethiopian I believe. But I guess I will not get a full feel of the size until then.

Does anyone agree with what I'm trying to explain here? Can anyone provide any good pictures of the size of this aircraft in relation to other planes/objects? I'm just having a hard time figuring out the size of this aircraft in relation to space.

I totally agree. Have thought for a while now that the 787 did not appear as 'sturdy' as the 767 or 777 as a result of this, even awkward on the ground, but I do have to admit that she looks quite elegant in-air and with gear up.

I think the wings also appear less thick than the 777, and the thinner raked wingtips also give the appears of delicacy.

Additionally, I would note that the 787 wing appears to join the body at a higher point along the fuselage (wingbox) than on the 777 or 767, where the wing appears to join the body at a lower point along the circumference. And the horizontal sweep of the wing appears higher as well. Finally, the front nose strut appears a bit short relative to other widebodies, even the A330/340.

The question I have been wanting to ask is what is the distance from ground to the bottom of the fuselage, especially relative to the 767 or 777. Can a man/pilot stand up straight below the 787 fuselage near the main gear??
 
jporterfi
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:41 pm

I also thought that it seemed about the same size as a 737 (I haven't seen it in person), until I saw this illustration. It really puts it in perspective.

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Viscount724
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:43 pm

Quoting ORDFan (Reply 8):
The question I have been wanting to ask is what is the distance from ground to the bottom of the fuselage, especially relative to the 767 or 777. Can a man/pilot stand up straight below the 787 fuselage near the main gear??

Boeing drawings show the following height below the fuselage in the area of the forward cargo door. Could only find that dimension for the 767 and 787. For some reason the equivalent drawings for the 777 don't include that measurement. Have also shown the 747-400 for comparison purposes (that's measured from just behind the wing).

767-300ER - from 5 ft. 10 in. to 6 ft. 10 in.
787-8 - from 5 ft. 6 in. to 6 ft. 10 in.
747-400 - from 6 ft. 10 in. to 7 ft. 11 in.

The difference between the numbers is based on the most extreme loading conditions.

[Edited 2012-10-31 16:47:31]
 
danielkandi
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:08 am

Im glad u posted this. As I always felt the same. So it wasnt just me then lol... it looks more chubby for sure, which prolly contributes to the odd size mistakes...
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deltaflyertoo
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:16 am

Me too, I agree with all the above. I also thought same thing to a point I kept researching all the pax specs and comparisons between 787 and 767 and A330 to try and wrap my head around what its true size is.

That said, just by judging on looks alone of the 787-8, I can't get feel of what the 787-9 is going to look like, especially on the ground. Will it have higher landing gear struts than the 787-8? If not my imagination makes me think its going to look awkward.
 
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777222LR
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:47 am

I also have this weird suspicion, and have for a while, that they 787's engines are proportionally further out on the wings than it's counter parts. The spacing between nacelle and fuselage seems greater, and if this is the case, this means the engines would be higher up off the ground, allowing the fuselage to sit lower, thus the lower landing gear. I too, just cannot wrap my head around what size it actually is in comparison. The above picture that I posted is about as close as I'm going to get until I see it in person, which will hopefully be soon.
 
trnswrld
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:51 am

Count me as yet another person that has always felt the same way. To me its the passenger windows that throw off the size and give it a much smaller feel. I guess there are a ton of factors that make aircraft seem different proportionally. For example I have always thought that the 767-200 always seemed really big compared to when I saw a 763 flying. I think it has to do with the relatively large wings compared to the short fuselage. Infact a couple times I have mistaken a 762 as a 777-200 until I was able to get a closer look.
From a visual stand point the 787 seems very similar to a 767-300 and according to that side profile shot a few posts above, it is very similar (with the exception of the larger engines, wider fuselage and wings).

Since no one seems to have a good real world comparison shot yet, maybe there are a few 1/200 scale diecast collectors that can take some comparison shots of the 787 model next to the 767, A330, 777 etc etc.
 
Max Q
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:07 am

I think the main reason it looks so small is how low it sits to the ground.


Aircraft with tall gear look much bigger and better for it.
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ghifty
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:27 am

I've driven past Boeing Field on I-5 a few times since moving here.. and the 787 looks very awkward from behind.

The engines aren't "proportional" and the fuselage looks stubby; it almost looks like a smaller 737-sized airplane scaled up to 767/A330 proportions.
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gunsontheroof
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:18 am

I've always thought it looked about the same size as an A330-200 and never really thought it looked smaller/bigger than I'd imagined, but then again, I've had the benefit of seeing the testbeds fly around Seattle for the last several years...lots of interesting perspectives in this thread, I can definitely see how someone could get an inaccurate idea of the plane's size without seeing it in action/comparing it with other aircraft.
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DocLightning
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:20 am

Does anyone have a 777 vs 787 fuselage cross-section comparison?
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chrisair
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:51 am

Quoting 777222LR (Thread starter):
These things combined, make the 787 look less substantial to me.

Honestly, after seeing a couple in the wild (including the broken ANA one at SEA on their inaugural launch day), the plane looks small. The 757 I flew in on seemed bigger. Even taxiing by one in a Q400, the thing looks small. I know they aren't, but they sure look small.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:01 am

I completely agree. Even after telling myself for months that it's a large airplane, it still looks small.

This is the only photo I've found where it looks close to the size that it is:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alevik



Not really sure why....Probably partly because you can't see all the cockpit windows....
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
Viscount724
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:22 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
Does anyone have a 777 vs 787 fuselage cross-section comparison?

Exterior fuselage width for all Boeing widebodies:
747 - 21 ft. 4 in.
777 - 20 ft. 4 in.
787 - 18 ft. 11 in.
767 - 16 ft. 6 in.

777 fuselage is circular with same 20 ft. 4 in. vertical cross-section. 787 fuselage appears to be slightly oval since the vertical cross-section (19 ft. 6 in.) is 7 inches larger than the width.
 
timpdx
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:30 am

Yes, vikkyvik, the photo you show that I just saw the other day is the first time the 787 has actually seemed large to me. I saw one at HND earlier this year at night and it still looked small to me, but that photo posted here actually really shows the size of the bird. Glad there are others here that share the same "it looks small/out of proportion" thought it was just me.

I tend to like longer birds, like the A346, and like the 789 and estimated 7810 proportions the best of the lot, same for 359 & 10 proportions.
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seabosdca
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:32 am

The first time I saw one in person I was surprised by the size. I knew intellectually that it had similar floor area and general size to an A330-200, but it does look smaller in pictures. When I saw it in person, I grasped its true scale and was a bit shocked. I think the windows, which are big and far apart, are the biggest reason for the illusion.
 
Caryjack
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:43 am

Quoting 777222LR (Thread starter):
Does anyone agree with what I'm trying to explain here?


I understand what you're asking but I have the opposite impression. I recall seeing a B-787 flying low & slow through the valley just east of SEA and it was huge. The large diameter body does make it look a bit stubby.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 7):
The cockpit windows have always thrown me. Proportionally, they do make the plane seem like a much smaller plane but I got my eyes opened when I saw the 787 at Oshkosh last year...it is massive.
  
Could be the windows but it has a much larger diameter than most photos indicate.
Thanks,  
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Fiedman
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:52 am

http://pages.videotron.com/camsim/data.htm

This is from a flightsim website but it shows the size comparison of the 787, the A330 and the eventual A350
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LH422
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:51 am

Quoting Fiedman (Reply 25):
http://pages.videotron.com/camsim/data.htm

It's not just the size of the passenger windows but the spacing that has my subconsciousness confused when looking at it from the outside. I think it's one window per economy row, whereas on any other plane it's close to two.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jason Wood

 
FlyDeltaJets
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:23 pm

Does the cargo hold take 2 LD2s or LD3s side by side? The 767 can only do 2 LD2s side by side, so im assuming that based on the outlines that the 787 would be the same, if not that means the 787 is wider than the 767.
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seabosdca
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:06 pm

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 27):
Does the cargo hold take 2 LD2s or LD3s side by side? The 767 can only do 2 LD2s side by side, so im assuming that based on the outlines that the 787 would be the same, if not that means the 787 is wider than the 767.

It takes two LD3s; it's wider than an A330, which also takes two LD3s. This was one of the biggest reasons for doing an all-new aircraft rather than an extensive revision of the 767.
 
airlinereporter
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:09 pm

Being lucky enough to be in Seattle and see them first hand, being able to tour the interiors of 7 and to fly on two, I have concluded that from the outside, the 788 feels very similar to a 767. But with the interior it feels closer to 777 or A330. The lighting, the windows, the interior design really make the aircraft feel larger in my opinion.

David.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:09 pm

Quoting ORDFan (Reply 8):
Can a man/pilot stand up straight below the 787 fuselage near the main gear??

Yes. I'm 6'2" and I can walk underneath without hitting the fuselage with normal loadings...I do have to duck under the antennas.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 27):
Does the cargo hold take 2 LD2s or LD3s side by side?

2 LD3s.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 27):
im assuming that based on the outlines that the 787 would be the same, if not that means the 787 is wider than the 767.

It's wider.

The big cause of the illusion isn't exactly the windows, it's the size of the windows relative to the fuselage. Just by dumb luck, the window-to-fuselage ratio on a 787 is roughly comparable to a 737 (they're both equally larger on a 787). When the plane is sitting by itself you have to reference standard so you can't get the absolute lengths, you just go by the ratios. The ratios look like a 737 and the windows are "too big" relative to the fuselage for a widebody so we think is must be a small plane. It's only when you're up close that the absolute size asserts itself.

A dead giveaway is when you can get a shot of the flight deck windows with a pilot inside...that really gives you a sense of scale:
https://www.airliners.net/photo/All-N...s/Boeing-787-8-Dreamliner/2166419/

Tom.
 
Viscount724
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:25 am

Quoting LH422 (Reply 26):
It's not just the size of the passenger windows but the spacing that has my subconsciousness confused when looking at it from the outside. I think it's one window per economy row, whereas on any other plane it's close to two.

It's more than one window per Y class seat row. For example, the rear cabin on JL 787s has 14 windows (counting the windowless gap at the fuselage section join as a window), but JL as 11 rows of seats in that area.

Does anyone know what the actual 787 window spacing is, as compared to the standard 20-inch centers on other Boeing types?
 
gordomatic
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:05 am

Quoting 777222LR (Thread starter):
almost the size of a 767
Quoting georgiaame (Reply 6):
Looks like a somewhat stubby 767
Quoting jporterfi (Reply 9):
until I saw this illustration

You're right. It doesn't look like it but it is about the same size as the 767-300

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 30):
A dead giveaway is when you can get a shot of the flight deck windows with a pilot inside...that really gives you a sense of scale

Absolutely. And the flight deck windows are huge.

Quoting zkojq (Reply 2):
To me the 787-8 looks rather stubby and kind-of awkward

I think the 787-9 will look better proportioned. I can't wait to see it.
We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
 
n729pa
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:30 pm

Quoting 777222LR (Thread starter):
Does anyone agree with what I'm trying to explain here?

Absolutely. I haven't seen one yet, but like you I keep looking at it and wondering how are they going to use such a small plane on say TYO-BOS for example?

I'm glad I'm not the only one
 
tarheelwings
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:34 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 30):
A dead giveaway is when you can get a shot of the flight deck windows with a pilot inside...that really gives you a sense of scale:
https://www.airliners.net/photo/All-N...6419/

This shot should also give you a good perspective on the size of the plane:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moonm/8146489746/in/photostream
 
atlflyer
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:18 am

Quoting tarheelwings (Reply 34):

Why are they moth-balling the China Southern 787?!
 
milesrich
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:43 am

Quoting 777222LR (Thread starter):
1. The windows and cockpit windows are HUGE. Because of their size, and their wider spacing, when looking at the fuselage, they make the fuselage seem smaller and shorter than what it really is.

2. The engine nacelles have a larger "lip" on them, which makes them look less substantial than what they are.

3. The 787 has shorter landing gear when proportionally compared to the 777 or A330.

4. The vertical stabilizer is thinner than other aircraft of this size.


These things combined, make the 787 look less substantial to m

The nose and windscreen look sort of like a Comet or Caravelle on steroids.
 
mats01776
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:09 pm

Earlier this year, I took some photos of the JL 787 on one-mile final approach to Boston Logan's Rwy 27.
In comparison to the SW 737 which landed a few minutes earlier, the 787 is rather large, but the sheer size of the cockpit windows gave the impression that the aircraft is 737 sized.


JL008 on final to Bos Rwy 27, Sep 16, 2012

JL008 on short final to Bos Rwy 27, Sep 16, 2012
 
dbo861
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:42 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 21):
Exterior fuselage width for all Boeing widebodies:
747 - 21 ft. 4 in.
777 - 20 ft. 4 in.
787 - 18 ft. 11 in.
767 - 16 ft. 6 in.

The C-17 has a diameter of 22.5 feet, according to Boeing's website. I had no idea it was wider than the 747.
 
pnwtraveler
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:36 pm

I agree with the first poster's points on why the aircraft looks smaller. The passenger doors are also nice and wide. In person it seems like a 762ish aircraft even though it is 763 That is until you see people, tugs and equipment around the plane. Then all of a sudden you get the sense of proportion but it is still a bit confusing. Or an A320 nearby also gives you the sense that is bigger than it appears. I think the 789 will just begin to look a bit more in proportion and not so stubby. I think then to the eye it will appear like a 763 even though it will be bigger. The 7810 will have an elegance to it.
 
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CALTECH
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:48 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 30):
A dead giveaway is when you can get a shot of the flight deck windows with a pilot inside...that really gives you a sense of scale:

When we checked out the 787 simulator, I was truly shocked at how big the cockpit windows were. They are big. I believe they are the biggest I have experienced. Like looking out bay windows. While flying, the view is fabulous.
You are here.
 
B777LRF
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:56 pm

I've seen it a couple of times in the flesh and it looks ... odd. They say there's no true beauty without a touch of strangeness to it, but to my eyes the 787 ain't beautiful or even pretty,

The -8 suffers a bit from the same problem the A310 did - too fat for it's length. There's also something visually wrong with that nose, which is odd considering the elegance with which the Comet carried it. I suppose Boeing might have found, not unlike certain Chinese manufacturers, that just whipping something through the Xerox doesn't always mean it'll come out looking right. It also sits too close to the ground, making it look a bit like an 737 that's run into a wall. Perhaps it'll help when the -9 breaks cover, but so far my visual impression can be summed up in two words: Disappointingly boring.

Perhaps that's where the name comes from; it's so boring it makes you fall asleep  
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smittyone
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:50 pm

I saw the United Dreamliner at ORD today - taxied by us.

From where I was seated in an A321 that is a hell of a large airplane...no illusion at all  
 
CapEd388
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RE: The 787 Size Optical Illusion

Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:11 am


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Pinkteam



This picture also does a great job of showing the size. Notice the size of the pilot next to the huge windows.


This video also shows the true size from the ground. A YouTube friend of mine was at the event back in May when the 787 visited DFW. The engines are massive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhAM8SyFjo4
388 346 77W 787

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Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos