The first Boeing 787 was delivered to Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) Sunday Sept. 25.
The delayed Boeing 787 was set to take flight almost three years ago, but it's been a bumpy ride between strikes in 2008 and an electrical fire during a test run last November.
Airlines have high hopes for the plane. 821 have already been sold, putting the pressure on Boeing to deliver. The plane was announced in 2003 and listed for between $185 and $218 million each, though discounts were often given.
The Boeing 787 will have both significant fuel savings for the airline and provide more comfort for passengers due to the new technology in carbon fiber, a lightweight and strong plastic. Military planes have used carbon fiber instead of aluminum covering for several years; however, this is the first time commercial jets will be primarily composed of the material.
Though the strong material allows for larger windows, don't worry about early morning lights. The windows have electric dimmers instead of pull down shades. The days of reaching over your seatmate to pull down the shade are numbered.
The cabin pressure can be kept at a lower altitude of 6,000ft instead of 8,000ft. Passengers will feel the difference of the lower cabin pressure through the amount of humidity in the air, which should cut down the dry throat and nose symptoms.
The plane will offer up to a 20% fuel saving, making it perfect for long-haul flights. All Nippon Airways will begin flying that plane from Tokyo to Okayama-Hiroshima Nov. 11. In January, the dreamliner will fly internationally from Tokyo to Frankfurt to take advantage of the new fuel technology.
United Continental Holdings Inc., the first U.S. customer, will use the planes on thin routes between Houston and Auckland, New Zealand, and Houston and Lagos, Nigeria. Thin routes are those that are in regular demand, but don't often fill up, making the fuel savings key on turning a profit.
Amenities have also been stepped up from roomier seats to Panasonic on demand television for every passenger.
Our goal is for people to feel better because of an aircraft experience, rather than feel beat up, Boeing's Director, Blake Emory, told Reuters.
Boeing expects to produce 10 planes per month by the end of 2013 in both its Washington and newly opened South Carolina plants.
Although few aviation experts remain confident in Boeing's goals, senior vice president of ANA, Satoru Fujiki, believes - even after waiting three years - that Boeing will complete its goal.
Finally, we have reached first delivery, Fujiki told Reuters. So at this moment, we are quite confident in Boeing's ability to deliver on schedule this time.