Boeing 787

Background Engines Development Variants History Design Operators Specifications

MAX Seating Capacity (-10)



Fuel Capacity (-10)

126,372 L


Max Engine Thrust (-10)

340 kN) (76,000 lbf)


Service Ceiling (-8)

43,100 ft (13,100m)

Boeing 787 with United.


The Sonic Cruiser would have had 15% faster speeds while utilising the same amount of fuel as the 767. The September 11th attacks, as well as rising oil costs, wreaked havoc on the worldwide aviation sector. The Sonic Cruiser's most likely clients were thought to be the worst-affected airlines in the United States. Airport congestion is caused by too many regional aircraft and small single-aisles travelling to areas where a 550-seat Airbus A380 would be too large, according to Randy Baseler, Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP Marketing. In 2003, James McNerney (who would later become Boeing's Chairman and CEO in 2005), a recent addition to the Boeing board of directors, endorsed the need for a new aircraft to reclaim market share from Airbus. In July 2003, a public naming competition for the "E" was launched, with the winning name "Dreamliner" picked from 500,000 votes cast online. "7E7" was the name given to the successor project for the Sonic Cruiser (with a development code name of "Y2"). The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was planned to be the first commercial airliner with a fuselage made out of one-piece composite barrel sections rather than the numerous aluminium sheets and 50,000 fasteners used on previous aircraft. The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 and General Electric GEnx engines were chosen by Boeing to power the 787.

Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 jet engine and behind it the most powerful of the world: The GE90-115B, photo from flickr by Jorge Láscar


Photo By Jorge Láscar on Flickr.

The 787 is propelled by two engines, both of which are based on the Sonic Cruiser's all-electrical bleedless systems. Boeing anticipates the 787 to be substantially quieter both inside and out as a result of these changes. The Trent 1000 TEN engine from Rolls-Royce features a redesigned turbine design for increased thrust of up to 350 kN. Rolls-Royce started flight testing its new Trent 1000 TEN engine in 2016. The 787 may be equipped with either a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 or a General Electric GEnx-1B engine thanks to a common electrical interface.

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner_N787BA found on flickr by hans-johnson


Photo By hans-johnson on Flickr.

In eight and a half months, the 6,800-hour, six-aircraft ground and flight test programme was to be completed. Two GE GEnx-1B64 engines and two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines were used. The 787 completed the ultimate wing load test on March 28, 2010. Unlike previous aircraft, the wings were not put through rigorous testing. Flutter and ground effects testing was completed on March 24, 2010, allowing the plane to fly its entire flying envelope. The newest 787 landed at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, for harsh weather testing in the McKinley Climatic Laboratory hangar. In May 2010, ground engine testing on ZA005, the fifth 787 and the first with GEnx engines, commenced. In June 2010, a 787 was struck by lightning in flight for the first time; investigations revealed no damage. Because composites can have electrical conductivity as low as 1/1,000th that of metal, conductive material was added to mitigate possible dangers and fulfil FAA criteria. In September 2010, it was announced that two more 787s will be added to the test fleet, bringing the total number of flight test aircraft to eight. A partial engine surge occurred in a Trent engine on ZA001 at Roswell on September 10, 2010. After smoke and flames were spotted in the main cabin during a test flight, the second 787, ZA002, made an emergency landing at Laredo International Airport in Texas. The in-flight fire was mostly caused by foreign object debris (FOD) in the electrical bay, according to the inquiry. The 787 had completed 80% of the test conditions for Rolls-Trent Royce's 1000 engine on February 24, 2011. In July 2011, ANA conducted operational testing on a 787 in Japan for a week. By February 24, 2011, the 787 has completed 80% of the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine test conditions and 60% of the General Electric GEnx-1B engine test criteria.

G-ZBKS - Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - British Airways, photo from flickr by Colin Brown


Photo By Colin Brown on Flickr.

The 787-8, the smallest Dreamliner type, was the first to fly in December 2009, followed by the longer 787-9 in September 2013, and finally the 787-10 in March 2017. In the List of ICAO aircraft type designators, these variations are designated as B788, B789, and B78X, respectively. In 2010, the 787-3, a short-range airliner, was decommissioned.


The -8 is the base model of the 787 series, with a normal capacity of 242 people and a range of 7,355 nautical miles (13,621 km; 8,464 mi). The 787-8 is intended to replace the Boeing 767-200ER and expand into new non-stop markets where larger planes would be uneconomical. Approximately 29% of 787 orders are for the 787 -8, with 366 delivered as of October 2019. Boeing said in 2018 that it will modify the production of the -8 to increase its commonality with the -9 beyond the existing 30%. A new 787-8 was supposed to cost just slightly more than the 767-300ER, which cost $85 million new at its peak in the 1990s, but it ended up costing 20% more.


The 787-9 is an extended and reinforced version with a 20-foot (6.1-meter) larger fuselage and a maximum take-off weight of 54,500 pounds (24,700 kg). On August 9, 2014, it launched its maiden commercial trip from Auckland to Sydney. On September 17, 2013, a prototype took to the air for the first time from Paine Field. In a ceremony at the Farnborough Air Show on July 8, 2014, Launch customer Air New Zealand received delivery of its first 787 -9 in a striking black livery. As of October 2019, the 787-9 was the subject of 57 percent of all 787 orders, with 498 deliveries. In October 2014, United Airlines was set to launch the world's longest nonstop scheduled 787 service between Los Angeles and Melbourne. Qantas has completed the first scheduled non-stop trip between Australia and the United Kingdom, travelling from Perth to London Heathrow in seventeen hours. On March 16, 2020, an Air Tahiti Nui 787 flew the world's longest commercial flight, covering 8,485 nautical miles (15,715 km). On October 20, 2019, a Qantas 787-9 was flight tested with a limited payload from New York to Sydney.


The 787-10 will be 224 feet (68 metres) long, seat 330 people in two-class cabins, and have a range of 6,430 nautical miles (11,910 km; 7,400 mi). The Boeing 777-200, Airbus A330, and Airbus A340 were all set to be replaced by the version. The aircraft has 211 orders as of August 2020, with 58 of them delivered. Singapore Airlines became the program's first customer on May 30, 2013, when it announced that it would purchase 30 787-10s for delivery in 2018–2019 (if Boeing launched the programme). The capacity of this type would be comparable to that of the Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 777-200ER. It will take the place of the Boeing 767-400ER. The aircraft has 211 orders as of August 2020, 58 of which have been delivered and 7 of which are in storage. At the Paris Air Show on June 18, 2013, Boeing unveiled the 787-10, with 102 orders or pledges from Air Lease Corporation (30), Singapore Airlines (30), United Airlines (20), British Airways (12), and GE Capital Aviation Services (10). The Boeing 787-10 is the first aeroplane built entirely in South Carolina. On February 17, 2017, the first -10 was released. The maiden flight of the version was on March 31, 2017, and it lasted 4 hours and 48 minutes. With the first 70,000–72,000 lbf thrust engines, Emirates' Tim Clark doubted it would reach its MTOW for the cargo range required. On March 25, 2018, the -10 was delivered to its first client, Singapore Airlines. Because of the 10.7%, the 8.7% fuselage extension increased empty weight at a slower pace than the 7.4% expansion from the -8 to the -9. With certain strengthening and improved fuel systems, Boeing hopes to boost the 787-10's MTOW to 572,000 lb (260 t). This would give the plane additional range, allowing it to fly from Auckland to Los Angeles with no constraints on passengers or cargo.

Business Jet 787

The 787-8 and -9 are Boeing Business Jets, with the first having 2,415 sq ft (224.4 m2) of floor area and a range of 9,945 nautical miles (18,418 km), and the second offering 2,775 sq ft (257,8 m2) and a range of 9,485 nautical miles (17,566 km, both with 25 passengers. Until June 2018, fifteen had been ordered, twelve had been delivered, and four had been put into operation.

Boeing 787 Madrid, photo from flickr by Albert Koch


Photo By Albert Koch on Flickr.

As of December 2021, the Boeing 787 had been involved with seven accidents and incidents, with no fatalities and no hull damage.

Operation Incidents

On January 8, 2013, a fuel leak on a Japan Airlines 787 occurred. United Airlines reported a wiring issue near the main batteries on one of their 787s. In July 2013, a fire at Heathrow Airport caused substantial thermal damage to the aircraft. The first inquiry revealed no evidence of a direct relationship between the aircraft's batteries and the incident. A gasoline leak on a Norwegian Air Shuttle 787 caused a 19-hour delay in a journey from Bangkok to Oslo on January 21, 2014. In July 2013, ANA said it had found wiring damage on two 787 locator beacons. Boeing issued an advise to airlines utilising General Electric GEnx engines on 787 and 747-8 aircraft on November 22, 2013, advising them to avoid flying near high-level thunderstorms. A supplier assembly mistake was to blame for the problem. While parked at Stand 583 at London Heathrow Airport, a British Airways 787-8 with the registration G-ZBJB had a sudden nose gear fall. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the United Kingdom is presently investigating the event (AAIB). Following a January 29 incident in which a General Electric GEnx-1B PIP2 engine suffered damage and non-restartable power loss, the FAA issued an airworthiness directive.

Battery Issues

All Nippon Airways Flight NH-692, en route from Yamaguchi Ube Airport to Tokyo Haneda, experienced a battery failure on January 16, 2013. The plane was redirected to Takamatsu and evacuated via the slides; three passengers were injured in the process. Within the same week, a similar occurrence involving a Japan Airlines 787 at Boston's Logan International Airport prompted the FAA to stop all 787s. A battery fire was discovered during the investigation. Overvoltage was not the cause of the Boston 787 Dreamliner fire, according to the NTSB, because voltage did not exceed the battery limit of 32 V. Following the FAA statement, the Japanese Transport Ministry and ANA and JAL announced formal and indefinite groundings. The European Aviation Safety Agency also grounded LOT Polish Airlines' sole two European 787s. All 50 aircraft supplied up to that point had been grounded by January 17, 2013. Boeing has put a halt to 787 deliveries until the battery issue has been fixed. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued an interim factual report on the Boston battery incident on January 7, 2013. Firefighters "tried to put out the fire, but smoke and flame (about 3 inches in diameter) did not go away." A battery in a JAL 787 released smoke on January 14, 2014, when the plane was undergoing pre-flight maintenance at Tokyo Narita Airport.

F-OVAA - Boeing 787-9 - Air Tahiti Nui, photo from flickr by Dylan Agbagni (CC0)


Photo By Dylan Agbagni (CC0) on Flickr.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-haul, widebody, twin-engine airliner with lightweight construction made up of 80% composite materials by volume. Boeing uses 50 percent composite, 20 percent aluminium, 15 percent titanium, 10 percent steel, and 5% other materials by weight. Between Perth Airport and London–Heathrow, the longest-range 787 model can fly up to 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 kilometres).


Electrically driven pumps have replaced electrically powered compressors and four of the six hydraulic power sources. According to Boeing, this technology pulls 35% less power from the engines. The Boeing 787 includes a "fly-by-wire" control system that is comparable to the Boeing 777. Multi-function LCDs on the flight deck employ an industry-standard graphical user interface toolkit. The glass cockpit for Lockheed Martin's Orion spacecraft will be based on Honeywell International's 787 flight deck technologies. Multiple lithium battery fires forced the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be grounded in January 2013, thereby grounding the whole 787 fleet. The passenger cabin's in-flight internet systems are connected to the control, navigation, and communication systems. Data is sent between the cockpit and the flight deck using an Ethernet variant (Avionics Full-Duplex Switched Ethernet (AFDX) / ARINC 664). Following early lab testing, four distinct mechanisms manage battery charge to prevent overcharging.


The 787 Dreamliner is the first commercial aeroplane to use a carbon fibre reinforced polymer airframe (CFRP). Traditional aluminium structural materials have a lower strength-to-weight ratio than CFRP materials. OSHA refused whistleblower status "primarily on the basis that Boeing's 787 design does not violate any FAA laws or standards," according to the agency.


The 787-8 is planned to accommodate 234 people in three classes, 240 passengers in a two-class domestic configuration, and 296 passengers in a high-density economy configuration. The nine-abreast (3–3 3) arrangement is preferred by the majority of carriers. The windows feature electrochromism-based smart glass (provided by PPG Industries) instead of plastic window shades, with dimensions of 10.7 by 18.4 in (27 by 47 cm). The economy seats on the 787 may be as broad as 17.5 inches (44.4 cm) for nine-abreast seating and as wide as 19 inches (48 cm) for eight-abreast seating. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are standard in the cabin of the 787. In a collaborative research with Oklahoma State University, Boeing claims that this will considerably increase passenger comfort. The cabin of the 787 was created with people with mobility, sensory, and cognitive limitations in mind.

Norwegian Boeing 787-9 at LAX (G-CKWF), photo by wilco737 on Flickr


Photo By wilco737 on Flickr.

As of December 2019, 864 Boeing 787 aircraft were in service with airlines, including 353 787-8s, 476 787-9s, and 35 787-10s, with 546 more on order. All Nippon Airways (61), Japan Airlines (42), American Airlines (42), and United Airlines (42), are the major airlines as of August 2019. (34).


specifications table