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The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an American long-haul, mid-size widebody, twin-engine jet airliner made by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Its variants seat 242 to 335 passengers in typical three-class seating configurations. It is Boeing’s most fuel-efficient airliner and is a pioneering airliner with the use of composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe. The 787 was designed to be 20% more fuel efficient than the Boeing 767, which it was intended to replace. The 787 Dreamliner’s distinguishing features include mostly electrical flight systems, swept wingtips, and noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles. It shares a common type rating with the larger Boeing 777 to allow qualified pilots to operate both models.
The aircraft’s initial designation was the 7E7, prior to its renaming in January 2005. The first 787 was unveiled in a roll-out ceremony on July 8, 2007 at Boeing’s Everett factory. Development and production of the 787 has involved a large-scale collaboration with numerous suppliers worldwide. Final assembly takes place at the Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Washington, and at the Boeing South Carolina factory in North Charleston, South Carolina. Originally planned to enter service in May 2008, the project experienced multiple delays. The airliner’s maiden flight took place on December 15, 2009, and completed flight testing in mid-2011. Boeing has reportedly spent $32 billion on the 787 program.
Final US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification was received in August 2011 and the first 787-8 was delivered in September 2011. It entered commercial service on October 26, 2011 with launch customer All Nippon Airways. The stretched 787-9 variant, which is 20 feet (6.1 m) longer and can fly 450 nautical miles (830 km) farther than the -8, first flew in September 2013. Deliveries of the 787-9 began in July 2014; it entered commercial service on August 7, 2014 with All Nippon Airways, with 787-9 launch customer Air New Zealand following two days later. As of November 2016, the 787 had orders for 1,210 aircraft from 64 customers, with All Nippon Airways having the largest number on order.
The aircraft has suffered from several in-service problems, including fires on board related to its lithium-ion batteries. These systems were reviewed by both the FAA and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau. The FAA issued a directive in January 2013 that grounded all 787s in the US and other civil aviation authorities followed suit. After Boeing completed tests on a revised battery design, the FAA approved the revised design and lifted the grounding in April 2013; the 787 returned to passenger service later that month.