Dreamliner keeps date with India
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 16:30
  
New Delhi: The first ultra long-haul passenger jet with a capacity to fly about 250 passengers non-stop up to 16,000 km touched down at the IGI airport here Wednesday.

As the Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed at the airport from Dwarka side, it was given a water-cannon salute as it taxied to the parking bay, airport sources said.

While Air India has ordered 27 of these planes, Jet Airways has placed orders for ten of them. The aircraft would enable them to mount direct non-stop flights to North America or Australia.

Air India, which had placed the order in 2005, expects the delivery of the first aircraft in October this year, followed by two in November and one more in December. Jet had placed its order in 2007.

However, Boeing officials have only said the first plane would be delivered to Air India in the fourth quarter of this year. The original delivery schedule was to have started in 2008.

Coming in from Seattle via Tokyo, the Boeing 787, which is on a test-flight to those destinations where airlines have placed orders, would fly off to Mumbai tomorrow to continue its onward journey.

After Japanese airline All Nippon Airways, which is the launch customer and has ordered 50 of these planes, Air India would be the second customer in the world to receive the modern passenger jet in the fourth quarter of the year.

Air India would get its first-demo trials on the aircraft, which is claimed to be the most advanced in the world. Training of its pilots to fly this plane is likely to begin next month, Boeing officials said.

One of the lightest planes to have taken to the skies, the Dreamliner is made of carbon fibre and composite materials. Its newly developed engine and advanced flight technologies make it highly fuel-efficient, saving fuel up to 20 per cent.

While B 787-8 Dreamliner can carry 210-250 passengers on routes of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 km), the B 787-9 version can carry 250-290 people to places 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 km) away.

Both Air India and Jet Airways have placed orders for the B 787-8 version.

Boeing officials said Air India pilots' training on this aircraft would begin next month. Intensive discussions have been held with the airline and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on the training programme and type-rating of trained pilots.

DGCA has to certify that the pilots are trained to fly certain types of aircraft, which is called type-rating.

The delay in building the planes and their deliveries have occurred due to several factors including a major strike by employees at the Boeing's Seattle plant and engine-supply disruptions.

Boeing has received a total of 835 orders for the B- 787s from 56 airlines from six continents till May this year, valued at USD 162 billion.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 15:12


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