By Fred “Crash” Blechman
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, scheduled to have its first flight next year, was the program topic when the LAX Flight Path Museum launched its 2006 speaker series on January 17. Jeffrey Hawk, who directs Boeing’s Dreamliner government certification and environmental program, fielded many questions from a standing-room crowd during a two-hour PowerPoint presentation in the museum’s meeting room.
“This aircraft will serve many LAX travelers,” said Flight Path President Rowena Ake, while introducing Hawk and his subject. “Our speaker will provide an inside look at how the 787 was developed, as well as previewing its many interesting features.”
Hawk, who graduated from the University of Colorado and holds a degree in aerospace engineering, began his Boeing career in 1975. His early work focused on aerodynamic efforts on the 737, 747 and 767. His experience with the regulatory compliance for Boeing commercial airplanes was evident in his detailed answers to questions from engineers in the audience regarding materials and construction of this new largely-composite aircraft.
The 787, previously called the 7E7, is in the final phases of development by Boeing. The first deliveries to major airlines are planned for 2008. As of January 17, there were 379 announced orders and commitments worldwide for three versions of the 787 series.
The 787-3 has a range of 3,500 nautical miles with 296 passengers in two classes. The 787-8 will carry 223 passengers in three classes for 8,500 nautical miles. The 787-9 will fly 8,300 nautical miles with 259 passengers in three classes. Numerous seat arrangements are offered from nine across with two isles, to four large seats across for first class passengers. Depending on the version and optional equipment, the aircraft will sell for somewhere in the range of $135 million each.
With over 25 screens of photos and information, much of the presentation noted the many advanced features of the Dreamliner intended for passenger comfort. Hawk made a compelling presentation aimed at the general public, discussing subjects from climate control, to individual entertainment options at each seat, to the large windows and overhead luggage compartments, and many other advantages. He was also able to respond to specific queries about the characteristics of the composites used extensively in the Dreamliner design and construction.
The public was invited to this presentation. Admission was free, although donations were accepted. Other topics to be discussed in the Flight Path 2006 series include the 60th anniversary of airline service at LAX, military aviation and airport photography.
For more information,call 310-215-5291 or visit [http://www.flightpath.us].