The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be delivered to launch customer All Nippon Airway(ANA) leaves the paint hangar at Boeing's Everett factory August 6, 2011. Reuters

After being three years behind schedule for various reasons, including component shortage and a 57-day machinists' strike, Boeing says it has delivered the first 787 Dreamliner to Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA). The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-sized wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner with new features, including a four-panel windshield, noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles, a smoother nose contour and uses 20 percent less fuel than any other airplane of its size.

The 787-8 Dreamliner will carry 210-250 passengers on routes of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 kilometers), while the 787-9 Dreamliner will carry 250-290 passengers on routes of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 kilometers).

In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 provides airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance.

Boeing said composite materials make up 50 per cent of the primary structure of the 787, including the fuselage and the wings. The airplane has health-monitoring systems that allow the airplane to self-monitor and report systems maintenance requirements to ground-based computer systems.

New engines from General Electric and Rolls-Royce used on the 787 saw the elimination of 1,500 aluminium sheets and 40,000 - 50,000 fasteners for manufacturing a one-piece fuselage section.

The 787 program was launched in April 2004 with an order of purchase from ANA. Since that time, 56 customers from six continents of the world have placed orders for 821 airplanes valued at about $145 billion, making it the most successful twin-aisle launch of a new commercial airplane in Boeing's history.

The 787 Dreamliner, which would compete with the Airbus A350, due in 2013, would enter service in October. According to the Boeing Web site, the average price of the 787-8 and 787-9 comes at $185.2 and $218.1 million. The site also says that ANA has ordered 40 787-8 and 15 787-9 airplanes.

Mentioned below is the technical information of the 787-8 Dreamliner:

Seating: 210 to 250 passengers

Range: 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 kilometers)

Configuration: Twin aisle

Cross Section: 226 inches (574 centimeters)

Wing Span: 197 feet (60 meters)

Length: 186 feet (57 meters)

Height: 56 feet (17 meters)

Cruise Speed: Mach 0.85

Total Cargo Volume: 4,400 cubic feet

Maximum Takeoff Weight: 502,500 pounds (227,930 kilograms)

Program milestones:

Authority to offer late 2003

Program launch April 2004

Assembly start 2006

First flight December 2009

Following is a video of the 787 Dreamliner: