JAAlbert
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Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:40 am

The 787 was touted to have a host of new technology and applications that promised to change the nature of commercial aircraft. The new features include:
1. Composite fuselage and other surfaces
2. Bleedless Engines
3. Electronic Window Dimming
4. Electric "Architecture" including Electric Brake System, APU start, wing ice protection (and those pesky batteries!)
5. Higher Cabin Pressure
6. Hybrid Laminar Flow Control System (787-9 and 787-10)

Boeing stated that the new technology would increase efficiency, lower maintenance costs and provide a better passenger experience.

The 787 has now been in services for a few years and some 300 have been delivered to airlines and (most anyway) are flying about on commercial routes. The airlines and Boeing must have a sizeable and growing database on how well the features are working out in real world flying, yet we haven't heard much about whether the 787 has met expectations. Some tantalizing clues have been discussed, including:
1. After the rough roll-out, a number of airlines have ordered additional frames and the order book remains sizable;
2. Boeing ditched the Hybrid Laminar Flow Control system for the 777-X program and chose to construct the fuselage using aluminum;
3. Boeing's rumored medium market aircraft will also have an aluminum fuselage;
4. The higher cabin pressure gets good reviews from passengers on long flights, the electronic dimming system often does not.

I recall reading a few years back that, when asked why the 350 didn't use electric brakes, an Airbus engineer stated the airline would hate the maintenance and reliability of such brakes. The 350 reportedly went with a different design.

So how's it all working out? Are the airlines thrilled with their 787s? Is the plane a dream to maintain or a finicky child? How much of the techology will be used on future projects? How about those bleedless engines and the electric architecture?

I am not interested in starting an A vs. B flame war, or discussing the disasterous production and roll out issues or how Airbus or Boeing guessed right. I want to know if the promise of the 787 is being realized. Who better to ask than you guys? (and girls).
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:14 am

I think the A350 has shown that the all-electric architecture has pretty much been a wash. Yes, it has advantages but it also has shown (especially during the roll-out period) to have a number of disadvantages.

CFRP definitely has advantages for widebody aircraft, although I'm not sure they are as great as it was made to seem at first. But both A and B have gone that route for their newest widebodies. For reasons I do not completely understand, the benefit declines with fuselage width. The 777 fuselage was already done and re-doing it as CFRP would have been basically making an entire new type. You can't just superimpose one material on another in a new design. I'm still wondering if the NMA will be aluminum.

I thought the electronic dimming for the windows was brilliant on my last 787 flight.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
Planesmart
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:18 am

How will scrapping taxes / levies impact on large CFRP structures? In the future, CFRP may have some very high 'end of life' costs, added to the upfront purchase price.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:22 am

Quoting Planesmart (Reply 2):

How will scrapping taxes / levies impact on large CFRP structures? In the future, CFRP may have some very high 'end of life' costs, added to the upfront purchase price.

I'm sure nobody at the airlines has given that any thought yet.  
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
aerodog
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:05 am

Before the 787 went into service there was a lot of discussion on whether the design would meet the empty weight target. It was acknowledged that the initial units would be overweight but by as I recall unit 097, the weight saving measures would bring the empty weight back in spec.

We are well passed the delivery of unit 097, has there been any confirmation that the weight reduction program was success?

And yes, I fully understand the difficulty in pinning down what a spec empty weight should be given the huge variety of options available to the various carriers though Boeing and the airlines would know the specifics.
 
questions
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:31 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I thought the electronic dimming for the windows was brilliant on my last 787 flight.

Which airline did, class of service and route did you fly?

On my last SYD-LAX flight I had to ask the FA to lower a passenger's window shade. It was the only open window shade in J and the cabin was extremely bright as people were just beginning to snooze so they could adjust to the time difference. Auto dimming along with the adjusting LED lighting would have been brilliant.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:31 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
CFRP definitely has advantages for widebody aircraft, although I'm not sure they are as great as it was made to seem at first. But both A and B have gone that route for their newest widebodies. For reasons I do not completely understand, the benefit declines with fuselage width. The 777 fuselage was already done and re-doing it as CFRP would have been basically making an entire new type. You can't just superimpose one material on another in a new design. I'm still wondering if the NMA will be aluminum.

A big reason for the declining benefit is impact resistance dictating a minimum CFRP thickness, so it doesn't scale down to 737 size as well. There are other potential benefits besides weight, like manufacturing costs, corrosion, fatigue and maintenance that could still make it the material of choice on future single aisles.
Anon
 
nikeherc
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:19 am

I may be wrong, but I seem to remember reading that Boeing decided that they had overbuilt parts of the 787-8 and were able to lighten certain parts of the 787-9. If this is the case, perhaps future designs may make composite fuselages lighter. I would imagine that they had a pretty good idea as to the material requirements of composite wings, but we're over cautious with the fuselage.
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:40 am

Quoting questions (Reply 5):
Which airline did, class of service and route did you fly?

JL in Y from HND to SFO. The flight left at midnight and the sun came up about 3 hours into the flight. The F/A's dimmed all of the windows. I woke up about 3:30 into the flight. The cabin was dark and it appeared that we were flying through a brightly-lit moonlit night, except the moon was shockingly bright to look at directly. That was when I had a revelation of what I was looking at: we were flying in the morning light and the sun was shining directly at my (huge) window. And it was dark in the cabin. The window's dust cover (and that wall) was slightly warm to the touch, but not the burning hot that the interior of window shades get with conventional shades. I could easily see outside and look at the wings, the clouds, the ocean below (there's not much scenery on that flight) and once the sun came overhead, I could see the shadows of the shockwaves playing on the wings, all without undimming the window. The cabin remained dark and cool.

It. Was. Brilliant!!!

The LED lighting was brilliant, too. As we approached both HND and SFO, the interior lights, which had been a very dim blue just from the center lights, began to turn purple. And then the side lights began to follow suit, and then turn red, and orange, and yellow...and a beautiful sunrise occurred over a period of about 15 minutes in the cabin. The effect was stunning and I'm still impressed by it. Of course, they showed off a bit right as they closed the doors and rainbows shot down the cabin for a few seconds.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
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BlueSky1976
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:58 am

Quoting JAAlbert (Thread starter):
Composite fuselage and other surfaces

Composite is not prone to fatigue and does last longer than alloys. I expect that average 787 airframe life will much exceed the usual 20+ years of its alluminum counterpart.
The queen of the skies is dead.
 
Planesmart
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:07 am

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 9):
Composite is not prone to fatigue and does last longer than alloys. I expect that average 787 airframe life will much exceed the usual 20+ years of its alluminum counterpart.

It will be the technology inside the fuselage, and engines, that obsolete aircraft in the future far sooner than 20 years.
 
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seahawk
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:07 am

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 9):
Composite is not prone to fatigue and does last longer than alloys. I expect that average 787 airframe life will much exceed the usual 20+ years of its alluminum counterpart.

That is not correct. So far there is not enough experience on the fatigue life of composite structures to allow a serious estimation of the expected service lift. CFRP still does face problems like taking in water or delamination over time. In the end CFRP could end up more costly as detecting fatigue is more complex at the moment and the large one piece structures used in the 787 make local rapiers complex.
 
Arniepie
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:15 am

I think that one of its best features might become more obvious in a couple of years when aircraft start to be sold/re-leased between airlines.
The fact that the 787 can easily switch from 1 engine provider to the other might seriously help its resale value and always keeps the option open of buying the better engine deal or renegotiating a better deal with the existing engine provider.
[edit post]
 
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Qatara340
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:18 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
JL in Y from HND to SFO. The flight left at midnight and the sun came up about 3 hours into the flight. The F/A's dimmed all of the windows. I woke up about 3:30 into the flight. The cabin was dark and it appeared that we were flying through a brightly-lit moonlit night, except the moon was shockingly bright to look at directly. That was when I had a revelation of what I was looking at: we were flying in the morning light and the sun was shining directly at my (huge) window. And it was dark in the cabin. The window's dust cover (and that wall) was slightly warm to the touch, but not the burning hot that the interior of window shades get with conventional shades. I could easily see outside and look at the wings, the clouds, the ocean below (there's not much scenery on that flight) and once the sun came overhead, I could see the shadows of the shockwaves playing on the wings, all without undimming the window. The cabin remained dark and cool.

One of the best posts! I can just imagine being there.
لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
 
parapente
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:39 am

I think the simple answer is yes.Boeing needed to counter the fact that the A330 range had effectively finished the B767 range of Models.They noted that the new plane needed to match the larger capacity of the 333.They produced a winner.The sales figures tell you that.The only place they seemed to have slipped up is production rate.Their backlog is so huge it has presented an opportunity for Airbus to NEO the 330.
It seems to me that neither Boeing nor Airbus have figured out how to make plastic planes quickly.Which is another reason they the MOM/737 replacement may well be made of metal .( unless they overcome this problem of course).
 
mjoelnir
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:08 am

Quoting parapente (Reply 14):
The only place they seemed to have slipped up is production rate.

As we are looking at the highest production rate of any wide body aeroplane ever...

Quoting parapente (Reply 14):
It seems to me that neither Boeing nor Airbus have figured out how to make plastic planes quickly

I have to repeat: we are looking at the highest production rate for a wide body aircraft ever reached.
 
Arniepie
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:13 am

I think it's a success when it comes to the aircraft itself, the costs however are way too high, they need to find a
sustainable way of keeping their whole cost structure down.
Until this year it keeps adding deferred production costs ,up to more than 26 billion$ now, while it never was envisioned to break the 20 billion mark.

The pricing and handling of composites is not enough understood and under control by Boeing (ref. John Byrne, VP aircraft materials and structures at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, speaking at CompositesWorld's Carbon Fiber 2014 conference, Dec. 10, 2014.) and that's probably one of the big reasons they are going with AL again for their next project.

It's a success with some big "ifs and but's".
[edit post]
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:20 am

I think in effect, it was the 787-9 that delivered on the promises of the 787, since by the time the first 787-9 was produced, they finally worked out a lot of the "kinks" of the early production planes. And the 787-9 has both the range and carrying capacity to live up to the promise of the lower CASM on long range flights.

In effect, it feels like a repeat of the 767 program--it was the larger 767-300 and 767-300(ER) that became the most popular model--and I see the 787-9 becoming the most popular 787 model in the longer term.
 
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enzo011
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:47 am

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 12):
I think that one of its best features might become more obvious in a couple of years when aircraft start to be sold/re-leased between airlines.
The fact that the 787 can easily switch from 1 engine provider to the other might seriously help its resale value and always keeps the option open of buying the better engine deal or renegotiating a better deal with the existing engine provider.

Not really a benefit that applies to us here at all. We won't ever have to think about engines and swapping them around if we sell our aircraft.
 
trent1000
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:22 am

I have had a dozen or so flights, including short, medium and long haul flights on the 787.
My comments are: there is no "wow factor" entering the 787 as per the Boeing marketing hype with grand, circular arch - I have never felt the need to look up and admire the design The feeling is the same as walking on to another aircraft type.

Long haul, there is definitely a noticeable lack of dry nose/throat, coughing, sneezing throughout the flight and from other pax, too. Yes, I did arrive from Japan to the US more than once feeling 'refreshed' as opposed to travelling on the 744 to ORD.

The 787 has a nice "feel" - it's not too big (faster boarding & deplaning & not too small e.g. 3X3 config).

The windows are much noticeably larger and the darkened shades still allow rest while giving a view.

I really look forward to traveling on a 789 and also the A350-1000!

I love the 787!
 
JAAlbert
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:58 pm

Thanks guys for the info - made for some interesting reading.

How about the "electric architecture?" Is it reliable? Does it require a lot of maintenance to keep all the systems working? I guess what I'm asking is whether the system is robust or sturdy or whether it is causing a lot of intervention to keep it operational? One of the benefits touted of the 787 was reduced maintenance costs so I'm curious to see whether the electric systems operate smoothly and routinely.

I realize Boeing had its hands full initially with false alarms and computer software glitches - all of which seem to have been resolved (or have they?) I'm really asking about information about the operation of the aircraft now that those issues have been resolved.
 
justloveplanes
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:08 pm

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 16):
and that's probably one of the big reasons they are going with AL again for their next project.

They are making their biggest composite wing, so something is understood. Fuselage maybe is what he is referring to specifically. Boeing has said several times they understand the 787 wing very well. Perhaps that is just aerodynamics.

r/

Ivan
 
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sunrisevalley
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:28 pm

Quoting aerodog (Reply 4):
We are well passed the delivery of unit 097, has there been any confirmation that the weight reduction program was success?

I would say it is working . I believe that between two very close production frames there was a weight reduction of > 300kg. Also QF are saying that DFW-MEL will be possible . That means a range increase of about 45 min. That strongly implies further weight savings and SFC reductions.
 
Arniepie
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:22 pm

Quoting justloveplanes (Reply 21):
Quoting Arniepie (Reply 16):
and that's probably one of the big reasons they are going with AL again for their next project.

They are making their biggest composite wing, so something is understood. Fuselage maybe is what he is referring to specifically. Boeing has said several times they understand the 787 wing very well. Perhaps that is just aerodynamics.

r/

Ivan

It's not the engineering in itself that is the problem, it's the supply side, both cost and standardization-wise.
That's why they opted to build the CWC, a billion dollar all new factory to make it possible for them to control the cost and supply better.
It remains to be seen how this will turn out in the long run, it still might be the more expensive option for a long while to come (at least the next decade I would guess).
By then newer techniques ,think graphene based , newer alloys or probably a combination of both (laminar design, etc...) might be a better more promising way to go.

Even today, the manufacturers are stretching the composite industry to its absolute production limits, there are definitely some serious cost risks which where not really all foreseen at the conception of the 787 (and A350) and even the 77X wing.
[edit post]
 
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Stitch
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:26 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I think the A350 has shown that the all-electric architecture has pretty much been a wash. Yes, it has advantages but it also has shown (especially during the roll-out period) to have a number of disadvantages.

We are in the first generation of an "all electric" architecture with the 787, however. Assuming other airliner families adopt the same, in a few generations we should start to see the benefits touted (lower maintenance, lower weight, etc.).
 
nikeherc
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:46 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I think the A350 has shown that the all-electric architecture has pretty much been a wash. Yes, it has advantages but it also has shown (especially during the roll-out period) to have a number of disadvantages.
[/quote]

I'm curious, what were the disadvantages of the all electric architecture during the rollout period. I don't think you should count the battery situation, because that was not a function of the architecture, but the choice of battery technology. You also shouldn't count the software problems, because non-electric architecture aircraft have had similar problems. I have heard that computer issues were particularly severe with the A320. I stand to be corrected by good arguments, but I don't think the bleedless/electric architecture was the problem. The problems to me seemed to be pretty well spread.
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
Planeflyer
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:33 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
JL in Y from HND to SFO. The flight left at midnight and the sun came up about 3 hours into the flight. The F/A's dimmed all of the windows. I woke up about 3:30 into the flight. The cabin was dark and it appeared that we were flying through a brightly-lit moonlit night, except the moon was shockingly bright to look at directly. That was when I had a revelation of what I was looking at: we were flying in the morning light and the sun was shining directly at my (huge) window. And it was dark in the cabin. The window's dust cover (and that wall) was slightly warm to the touch, but not the burning hot that the interior of window shades get with conventional shades. I could easily see outside and look at the wings, the clouds, the ocean below (there's not much scenery on that flight) and once the sun came overhead, I could see the shadows of the shockwaves playing on the wings, all without undimming the window. The cabin remained dark and cool.


Yes,very nice description.

I routinely fly San Diego to Singapore and BKK via tokyo. Eliminating the drive to LA or the short flights to SFO or Seattle takes 4-6 hours off the journey.

I have flown these routes with JAL at least 7 times. I chose them for convenience not really understanding what the 787 was all about but I must admit the dry mouth and jet lag impacts are significantly reduced.

I would say the 787 's impact is most pronounced in markets like san diego that have seen more direct flights.
 
Planeflyer
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:19 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I think the A350 has shown that the all-electric architecture has pretty much been a wash. Yes, it has advantages but it also has shown (especially during the roll-out period) to have a number of disadvantages.
[/quote



Electric motors and power supplies will get smaller, lighter and more efficient. This won't matter for a few years but eventually it will add up.
 
justloveplanes
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:14 am

Quoting Planeflyer (Reply 27):
Electric motors and power supplies will get smaller, lighter and more efficient. This won't matter for a few years but eventually it will add up.

Also, the electric architecture (per Mike Bair, Boeing) enabled the thinner wing, which enabled the better than expected aero, which enabled the plane meet customer guarantees even overweight with SFC misses.

Since the plane is now on weight, it seems likely that the plane is beating spec and will continue to do so. Coupled with the fact that the plane is being used on many long thin routes as forseen, the concept and promise is validated in these areas.

What remains to be seen IMHO is maintenance costs. Last heard, many operators were above 99%. Still not as good as a 777, but close. Maintenance over time, not sure there. It was supposed to be a step change in maintenance.
 
nikeherc
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:15 am

Gggyiik

Quoting Planeflyer (Reply 27):

Electric motors and power supplies will get smaller, lighter and more efficient. This won't matter for a few years but eventually it will add up.

We're the size and weight of the electric motors and power supplies a problem? I don't recall reading that they were. I believe that the idea was that wiring and the motors were actually lighter than the bleed air and hydraulic lines. It doesn't seem to me that there were a lot of problems with the motors failing or the starter generators failing.
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
Okcflyer
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:44 am

Full electrical architecture could end up being similar to when fly by wire was first introduced. Lots of concerns, full potential not realized, skipped on some warm-over frame upgrade projects (737NG!) but ultimately is a step-change technology decades later and the A320 benefits of having it over the 737 despite the initial teething issues.

We'll know in a decade if it's the step-change expected or not. I suspect the 777-8 and 777-9 will be the last B designs without it.
 
NAV30
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:44 am

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 15):
I have to repeat: we are looking at the highest production rate for a wide body aircraft ever reached.

Have to admit that that is the statistic that astonishes me. Boeing delivered 114 last year and have already delivered 90 this year - including 38 B787-9s.

That's pretty well a wide-body being completed every three days. Nothing short of 'breath-taking,' to my mind.
 
IPFreely
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:30 am

Quoting JAAlbert (Thread starter):
Who better to ask than you guys? (and girls).

The best people to ask are airline executives who have actually bought 787's and have the data to answer your questions. They are the experts, but they won't answer your questions. So I guess asking the wanna-be experts on this board is your next best option!
 
justloveplanes
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:10 pm

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 31):
That's pretty well a wide-body being completed every three days. Nothing short of 'breath-taking,' to my mind.

That was the original concept, but I think from one line, not two. Still it is moving right along.

Are barrels still being pre-stuffed and shipped to Everett, or has that changed?
 
Planeflyer
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:08 pm

Quoting OKCFlyer

Full electrical architecture could end up being similar to when fly by wire was first introduced. Lots of concerns, full potential not realized, skipped on some warm-over frame upgrade projects (737NG!) but ultimately is a step-change technology decades later and the A320 benefits of having it over the 737 despite the initial teething issues.

We'll know in a decade if it's the step-change expected or not. I suspect the 777-8 and 777-9 will be the last B designs without it.



Exactly, well said.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:40 pm

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 32):
Quoting JAAlbert (Thread starter):
Who better to ask than you guys? (and girls).

The best people to ask are airline executives who have actually bought 787's and have the data to answer your questions. They are the experts, but they won't answer your questions. So I guess asking the wanna-be experts on this board is your next best option!

A lot of the people in this forum are some of the leading experts in the industry. The problem is the wanna-be trolls.
Anon
 
IPFreely
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:38 pm

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 35):
A lot of the people in this forum are some of the leading experts in the industry

Hilarious. This made my day. Thanks.
 
Planesmart
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:11 pm

Quoting Planesmart (Reply 10):
It will be the technology inside the fuselage, and engines, that obsolete aircraft in the future far sooner than 20 years.

I'm referring to the software, not hardware. I'm sure the electric hardware will be reliable, and there will be OEM equivalent upgrades.

Software support, or rather the lack of it, will be what obsoletes modern aircraft.

Twenty, even 10 years ago, aviation finance was focussed on hardware. Now it's less on the hardware, and more on software suppliers financial position, disposition of source code, documentation, etc
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:41 pm

Quoting Planesmart (Reply 2):
How will scrapping taxes / levies impact on large CFRP structures? In the future, CFRP may have some very high 'end of life' costs, added to the upfront purchase price.

There is nothing new to this. There are endless tonnes of CFRP on 25-30 years old airliners being scrapped today. Ever since CFRP was invented 40+ years ago more and more of this stuff has been used on all sorts of aircrafts and a lot of other products.

If we have a look at the quantity of CFRP flying today, then it is a surprisingly low fraction which is on B787s (and A350s), while the rest is on older designs.

The relatively new thing is that the last two components - the fuselage pressurized hull and the main wing structure - are also made of CFRP. This change wasn't made at that time because it couldn't have been made several decades earlier.

It was made when it became economically viable. Such large structures are very complicated to lay up when wet. Advances in robot technology changed that.

If a B787 should have been made with CFRP fuselage and wing 25 years ago, then it would have to be made by hand just like the Northrop B-2A bomber plane was. That would have made the 787 much too expensive to produce.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:53 pm

Quoting nikeherc (Reply 25):
I'm curious, what were the disadvantages of the all electric architecture during the rollout period. I don't think you should count the battery situation, because that was not a function of the architecture, but the choice of battery technology.

The battery fires were part of the choice of all-electric technology. They had to use Li-ion batteries to get the power density that they needed. They also had that EE bay fire during certification.

In fact, John Leahy pushed for an all-electric A350 and got overruled by his own engineers.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...liance-on-electrical-power-382535/

Now, Boeing seems to have learned their lessons and they have the technology under control. The big acid test, as it were, will be to see if their next clean-sheet design reverts to conventional architecture or remains all-electric.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
sharles
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:27 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 39):
The battery fires were part of the choice of all-electric technology. They had to use Li-ion batteries to get the power density that they needed.

Was that so? The Li-ion battery probably only powers the most essential stuff, all of which would be electric anyway, even in case of a hydraulic architecture. As I recall, it was purely a weight-saving measure, and Airbus also considered using Li-ion, but decided that it is too risky for now.

Actually
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...on-batteries-on-a350-after-removal
they were initially planned to be on the A350, were removed after the 787 troubles, and are coming back in 2016.
 
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enzo011
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:03 am

Quoting sharles (Reply 40):
Was that so? The Li-ion battery probably only powers the most essential stuff, all of which would be electric anyway, even in case of a hydraulic architecture. As I recall, it was purely a weight-saving measure, and Airbus also considered using Li-ion, but decided that it is too risky for now.

Actually
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...on-batteries-on-a350-after-removal
they were initially planned to be on the A350, were removed after the 787 troubles, and are coming back in 2016.

I believe Li-ion was chosen as it was the best compromise for weight/power needed to provide the necessary power the aircraft need. They probably could have gone for another battery or two but it would have added too much weight. Airbus didn't want to delay the A350 EIS and if the FAA and EASA would have found that Li-ion was dangerous and not to be used on aircraft it could have delayed the flight testing. They are returning to their initial plan for Li-ion batteries as it saves weight.

Airbus will have a different Li-ion battery than Boeing, less power so you would guess less chance of overheating. They also have the same/similar (first?) case design to release the fumes in a runaway event.
 
CaptainKramer
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:03 am

One of the initial design features I remember reading about the B787 Dreamliner, was a system that aloud the rapid changing of engines from one manufacturer to the other, reducing downtime, a useful feature for Leasing Companies. I think IIRC the aim was to take as short as 24 hours. Was that ever realised from an engineering P.O.V.?

Regarding the cost factor of disposing of CRFP airframes, at end of life. Simple, don't scrap them, just donate your B787 to a museum, they could have a fleet of em, given enough space, job done.  
 
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Stitch
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:31 am

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 42):
One of the initial design features I remember reading about the B787 Dreamliner, was a system that aloud the rapid changing of engines from one manufacturer to the other, reducing downtime, a useful feature for Leasing Companies. I think IIRC the aim was to take as short as 24 hours. Was that ever realised from an engineering P.O.V.?

Engine swaps are still possible (and have been done on some of the "teens", I believe). However, the original plan of just being able to swap the engine proved unfeasible and now you also need to swap the strut, so the actual time is now days instead of hours.
 
Planeflyer
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:56 pm

The biggest advantage is more direct flights. With oil capped at $70/bbl due to the granularity of unconventional techniques I think you will see direct flights extended to ULH routes.

A little off subject but low oil should also assist further fragmentation of transatlantic routes. I see WestJet starting Canada to Europe with 767's. I would expect more of this.
 
JAAlbert
Topic Author
Posts: 1981
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:40 pm

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 35):
The problem is the wanna-be trolls.

Hahaha. Hey wait a minute, I resemble that remark!

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 39):
In fact, John Leahy pushed for an all-electric A350 and got overruled by his own engineers.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...2535/

Wow, thanks for finding this article. This is the article I read, which I mention in the thread starter! It is this article that has stayed with me and kept me wondering if the electric architecture would become a maintenance nightmare. I don't see evidence that it has (from my position as a troll wanna be lol) but I'm obviously not an aviation insider.
 
nikeherc
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:15 pm

Quoting sharles (Reply 40):
Was that so? The Li-ion battery probably only powers the most essential stuff, all of which would be electric anyway, even in case of a hydraulic architecture. As I recall, it was purely a weight-saving measure, and Airbus also considered using Li-ion, but decided that it is too risky for now.

That was why I posed the question. The battery except under dire conditions is only there to start the APU or engines. Just as in an automobile, everything actually runs off of the generator under most conditions. Even in the event of failure of the engines and APU, such as in fuel exhaustion, there is the ram air turbine to provide electricity and hydraulics. So the issues about the electric architecture truly concern weight differential and reliability of the electrical components. Since most new designs are fly by wire, even their hydraulic actuators are controlled electronically.
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
sharles
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:29 pm

RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:23 pm

Quoting enzo011 (Reply 41):
Airbus will have a different Li-ion battery than Boeing, less power

Where is the source that the A350 will need a less powerful battery? And why does the 787 need a more powerful battery, what additional stuff does it power?
 
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Polot
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RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:47 pm

Quoting sharles (Reply 47):

Where is the source that the A350 will need a less powerful battery? And why does the 787 need a more powerful battery, what additional stuff does it power?

Remember the 787 has bleedless engines unlike the A350. So you have things like electrically driven compressors to pressurize the 787 cabin not found on the A350.
 
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Stitch
Posts: 26711
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: Have The Promises Of The 787 Been Realized?

Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:48 pm

Quoting sharles (Reply 47):
Where is the source that the A350 will need a less powerful battery?


The A350's electrical draw is lower than that of the 787, so it does not need as powerful a battery.


Quoting sharles (Reply 47):
And why does the 787 need a more powerful battery, what additional stuff does it power?


In general, the batteries are used to start the APU and the engines when ground power is not available. They can also operate the electric brakes in the event of loss of main generator (engine / APU) power.

The 787 also uses electric power for the air conditioning packs and the cabin pressurization compressors.

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