The wait is finally over. The Boeing Co. officially signed the final contract to deliver its first 787 Dreamliner, kicking off the first of many celebrations at Paine Field in Everett.
It’s a decked-out, state-of-the art plane – and the creators call it a dream come come true. But the journey to this point was not an easy one.
Boeing says the 787 Dreamliner is a game-changer in the world of commercial planes. But now, three years overdue, the jetliner is ready for take-off.
The final contract was signed Sunday – and All Nippon Airways is set to receive the first of 55 Dreamliners ordered. In all, Boeing has orders to deliver more than 800 of the planes.
The Seattle Times reports that Boeing may suffer from the 787 delays financially – because it may not see a profit on the Dreamliners for another nine years.
Officials with Boeing wouldn’t say how much money has been spent on developing the Dreamliner – but they did say they’re feeling optimistic.
“This investment is going to serve the Boeing Co. well for many years to come,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the Boeing 787 program. “I’m feeling great about this airplane. Our customers are going to love it – and the travelling public is going to, too.”
Boeing says the 787 was designed to make passengers enjoy flying – about a dozen of them were ordered as private jets.
It’s the first commercial jetliner to be mostly made of composite materials – part of the reason why Boeing says it’ll be cheaper to operate and maintain.
The airliner will use less fuel. And with the biggest windows around – along with large storage bins and systems that can put cleaner air in the cabin – the plane is supposed to be a dream for passengers.
Boeing Chief Pilot Mike Carriker has done several test flights.
“There was the snow glistening off the top of the Olympic Mountains. I mean, I’m in a 787 and Seattle’s a gorgeous city,” says Carriker.
On his best day, he says it was simply a smooth ride.
“And it just like I was floating,” he says.
It’s a milestone for Boeing.
On Sunday, they gave the media a tour of the Boeing 787 factory, along with a look at the plane.
On Monday, workers will start their celebrations at 6 a.m. And on Tuesday morning, the Dreamliner will take off for Tokyo.