A couple of weeks ago British Airways invited me to visit their newly-extended maintenance facility at Heathrow to see the new Boeing 787 which was visiting briefly. I had seen them on the production line in America but we weren’t allowed to take photos, so this was a great opportunity to see a fantastic new plane and to share some pictures with you.
British Airways was doing some tests to make sure that the 787 could fit in the new hangar and the maintenance cradles they had built for it. I was just looking for a photo opportunity!
New Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines with this interesting scallop shape on the nacelle, which I believe is suppose to reduce noise.
The first impression is that it is very smooth, like a dolphin. Perhaps it’s the nose. And is it just me, but is there a hint of Comet in the lines?
We got a brief look at the cockpit. Note the head-up displays and the five large LCD screens.
Other planes have little trackballs but I was interested to see that the 787 has a trackpad like a laptop.
Surprisingly few knobs, dials and switches. As planes get more digital, the cockpits get simpler. I think even I could master this lot.
This is the forward crew rest area. Very cosy.
This picture shows the dimmable windows and Boeing’s business class concept with outward-facing windows (for a better view).
Smooth. Composite structure and advanced aerodynamics are part of the reason that Boeing is claiming 20% lower fuel consumption. We got to see how engineers repair composites. I had seen some of this before after a golf ball hit the wing of an SR22 that I fly. (Don’t worry, it was on the ground at the time.)
In service, I don’t think there would be so much space for walking around! But you can see the interior lighting system, cabin height and large windows in this picture.
I was impressed to see the 787 up close. Yes, it’s a few years late but some things are worth waiting for.