Gallery: BOEING DREAMLINER: A More Sustainable Aircraft

 

Air travel can be the bane of any well-meaning environmentalist. One flight can spew tons of carbon and other pollution into the air, but let’s face it, there are few reasonable alternatives for jetsetters. So it’s great to hear that when Boeing set out to design their new airplane, the 787 Dreamliner, it made sure that one of its main goals was that of reducing its carbon emissions. It wasn’t just designed with fuel efficiency in mind, Boeing made sure that passenger comfort and interior design played a role in improving the overall pleasure of flying. Check out a great video about the Dreamliner from Scribemedia, featuring John Barratt, CEO of Teague and design consultant for the aircraft. Air travel may never be the most sustainable option, but Boeing’s efforts are a step in the right direction.

Using new technologies, such as using lightweight carbon-fiber for the fuselage and wings, instead of aluminum sheeting, Boeing was able to reduce the airplane’s weight. It also increased the fuel efficiency of its new engines, yielding an overall reduction of fuel consumption of almost 30%. Because of the new materials, the humidity in the cabin can be much higher than before, which will provide for better passenger comfort.

Air travel is a tricky proposition for any well-meaning person trying to reduce their carbon footprint. In 2004, NASA documented how the increase in air travel could account for half a degree increase per decade in the past 30 years, and that figure would only rise as air travel becomes more affordable and ubiquitous.

There are, however, a few ways or strategies to help account for our own air travel-related emissions- for example, the purchase of carbon credits (and this is probably one of the few activities where the use of carbon credits actually makes sense) and/or an increase in airplane taxes for those who travel excessively via airplane.

As it is, a more efficient airplane is a step in the right direction. From the looks of it, the Dreamliner looks to be a revolutionary aircraft in this regard, and it’ll be interesting to see what other steps the airplane manufacturers will take to reduce the carbon footprint of air travel.

+ Boeing Dreamliner

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46 Comments

  1. jennifertorches84 November 14, 2011 at 9:07 am

    This airplane is a nature friendly one. This will help prevent pollution in the air as this not bursting out carbon dioxide.

  2. samcurtis September 25, 2011 at 1:00 am

    I was glad I stumble upon your site. This is really a great site.

  3. Game Changer September 18, 2011 at 6:41 am

    I like this aircraft. None here can make a similar one! Go get the new Game Changer DNA bonus if you want to see this!

  4. xfury July 12, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Very nice :)

  5. Michelle.c June 6, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    very nice looking aircraft

  6. lamer40 January 7, 2011 at 10:22 am

    It looks really nice !

  7. Juliana Rushworth September 2, 2010 at 4:28 am

    An appreciable effort, i must say. I simply fell in love with those pictures. I guess you should put some more of these.

  8. Airbus Unveils Fuel-Eff... July 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    [...] soon as 2030, we might be flying in a new, more efficient aircraft with long, curled wings, a U-shaped tail, and a lightweight body — if manufacturer Airbus [...]

  9. Boeing Unveils Hydrogen... July 13, 2010 at 9:31 am

    [...] a potential new market in data and communications collection, and it’s a big step forward in Boeing’s efforts to build planes powered by hydrogen. The Phantom will be shipped from [...]

  10. AC August 31, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I forgot to mention that this was a great post, thanks so much! :) I will point other readers to this article as well.

  11. AC August 31, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Yea I remember one of my professor’s at MTSU talking about how much it costs to create this plane and how much work they had to put into it before they finally made the perfect masterpiece for this airline to make them billions.

    Partly, the reason would be because ticket prices have shot up in this current economy along with first class seats ranging from 2k and above. So expensive!

  12. AC August 15, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Yea I remember one of my professor’s at MTSU talking about how much it costs to create this plane and how much work they had to put into it before they finally made the perfect masterpiece for this airline to make them billions.

    Partly, the reason would be because ticket prices have shot up in this current economy along with first class seats ranging from 2k and above. So expensive!

  13. combatthefat May 16, 2009 at 11:12 am

    You will never satisfy the radical greenies, they want us all to go back to living in caves.

  14. errornuker April 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    WHAW those picxtures are great !!! Can anyone mprovide more of them?

  15. James FastSize June 11, 2008 at 12:22 am

    Wow I can\’t wait to get a ride in one of these enlarged units. I\’ve ridden coach all my life and will definitely do first class when these are launched. BTW radical green women have thin lips and flat feet, and ruin everything for other people.

  16. termite April 28, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Well done Boeing, lovely plane and clean with it. You will never satisfy the radical greenies, they want us all to go back to living in caves. Just like cars aircraft are much, much more efficient now. Do the sums and you will find that there are too few humans, we have not been here long enough, we are not intelligent enough and just too puny to have any effect on the world’s vast, complex, fidgety climate

    Keep on flying!

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  18. Jimmy December 24, 2007 at 1:56 am

    That plane is absolutely beautiful!

  19. Johnny October 13, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    People in this country want to gripe about the ecosystem. But when a company like Boeing tried to bring down some of the harmful polutants, people just want to gripe more. If Boeing made the effort to bring it down 5% people should be happy. After all they were not FORCED to, it was a company decision. As for saving money on the fuel, think of all the money that Boeing SPENT on development of this aircraft. This aircraft has also caused many of jobs to be created because of it. So treehuggers be happy with what you get, the enviroment did not get this way in one day and it will not be changed back in one day.

  20. Inhabitat » POND ... July 31, 2007 at 1:00 am

    [...] recently featured the 787 Dreamliner airplane from Boeing, and the Ecojet prototype from Easyjet as examples of environmentally-friendlier air travel [...]

  21. Michael V. July 18, 2007 at 10:48 am

    How fuel effecient and eco-friendlier will this airplane actually be? Consider that the fact the airline industry “IS NOT” regulated, or has to submit or be required to follow any global pollution mandates or report it! I find it hard to believe or trust this industry. They are “GREENWASHING” everyone!

  22. Inhabitat » EASYJ... July 17, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    [...] week we brought you news of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a state-of-the art aircraft designed to reduce the greenhouse emissions and provide more [...]

  23. royalestel July 11, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Boeing fan: The regional temperature of Tucson or Vegas does not mean anything in regards to the average global temperature. There are record lows occurring in other places as I write this.

  24. Sam July 11, 2007 at 5:04 am

    @ all those saying that Boeing is only reducing fuel consumption to make profit, not benefit the environment:

    Are you saying you’d rather that Boeing didn’t increase fuel efficiency so that you could continue to hate them for polluting the environment?

    @ all those saying air travel isn’t necessary:

    It is vital on so many levels. It has opened up the whole world to all the many different cultures and ideals. Without people visiting different countries and exchanging views and coming to understand one another, can you even begin to imagine how much worse our relations with Russia, China, Iraq etc. etc. would be? Without air travel we’d know nothing of these countries or what happens inside them.

  25. What is the 787 Dreamli... July 10, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    @Betty:
    Actually, those seats look rather comfortable. Don’t look at their shape. Look at their width, and their height.

  26. Boeing fan (but careful) July 10, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    The “fuel efficiency” argument is kinda nutty. Boeing has to cart the parts for these planes all the way from Japan and Italy on gas guzzling 747s to Seattle (Everett, WA). That’s like having Hummers deliver the parts for hybrid or electric cars!

    The airlines will save some $ because the 787 burns less fuel, while we choke on the heat and CO2 gas these things generate just to get built. Ask someone in Tuscon or Vegas how they feel about the weather right now.

  27. betty July 9, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    those seats look even more uncomfortable than the old ones…

  28. MC July 9, 2007 at 4:20 am

    I hate sitting coach. I’m 6’5″ and I can’t fit in those seats at all. My only gripe would be to make all of the seats (coach included) with ample legroom. That’s my open letter..

  29. D July 9, 2007 at 1:35 am

    Does it come with larger armrest?

  30. NNR #19 at nerd news radio July 8, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    [...] Kamkwamba’s Windmill Apple 2.0 – iPhone 3G? FOX and Mr. Rogers Extend your battery life Boeing Dreamliner Space and Mars Home Anti Piracy [...]

  31. glauco July 8, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Unfortunately, it’s only a coincidence that aircraft buyers crave for fuel efficient aircrafts and environmentalists crave for fuel efficient stuff. Boing sells airplanes to airline companies, and they will only buy new airplanes if the operating costs compensates for the leasing costs. Less dollars spent in fuel are a major selling point (less operational costs), and boeing only wants to make a profit by selling more aircrafts. Boing is using the side effect of less carbon emission as a marketing stunt to appeal to general public as an eco friendly company.

    In short: airplane burns less fuel -> airplane is cheaper to fly -> cheaper airplane means more profit from air travel tickets -> airline companies will be more willing to replace old airplanes -> boing makes a profit by selling more airplanes.

  32. Dave Naffziger July 8, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    The 787 is definitely a step in the right direction, but Eva makese the key point: Air travel is still very bad for the environment, and in some cases you’re better off driving a Hummer:

    http://www.naffziger.net/blog/2007/07/03/driving-a-hummer-is-more-carbon-efficient-than-taking-a-flight/

  33. Matthew Fedder July 8, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    @Eva, who said:

    Ok, a commendable effort but still doesn’t make flying any less harmful to the environment, especially taking into acount that less people wll be transported per flight.. I know travelling economy or coach sucks but it is still the equivalent of carpooling in the airline world.

    I had read that the 30% figure was based on the fuel used per passenger-mile. Considering a smaller plane is more likely to be full than a large one, you’re also more likely reach that optimal target.

    Fuel costs are a huge concern to the airlines, so they are just as excited as you by any innovation that can decrease the amount of fuel used to transport a passenger.

  34. Eva in NL July 8, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Hi Yoshi,

    You misunderstand me, I’m not saying all business trips are unecessary. I work for a large US company and am based in The Netherlands, my customers are spread all over the world and I certainly see the value of meeting them face-to-face. I have found however, that once the relationship is established you don’t need to meet each other in person as often, once or twice a year is quite sufficient.

    With regards to my colleagues abroad we manage very well without (sometimes ever) having to meet. We have strong professional and also personal relationships. We need to be able to depend on each other regardless of the fact that we are in different countries, timezones and cultures. It takes a mindset change but it is well worth it on many levels.

    Eva

  35. Edward July 8, 2007 at 10:56 am

    @ Patrick – Nice to hear that. But i am wondering if 30% decrease is really all that much? Since last generation was almost a decade ago. I would expect with new tech such as Carbon Fibre, better computational system. Much more efficient engine would bring it somewhere near 40%.

    Or is it that becoz the design started long ago more recent tech have to come in at next iteration of Dreamliner?

  36. yoshi July 8, 2007 at 10:50 am

    @eva

    Why are these trips still necessary? Because getting things done still requires face to face time. Especially when dealing with individuals and groups based in other countries who place a high value on building relationships. All the video conferences, e-mails, IMs, and telephone calls pale in comparison to sitting in a room with the group in question.

    I agree with Patrick. Airline companies spend a lot of time thinking about these issues and this is not easy stuff.

  37. Anders July 8, 2007 at 10:46 am
  38. Edwin July 8, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I really like the design. Overall the plane looks really comfortable and luxuries.

  39. Jean Naimard July 8, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Using composites is well and fine, but how much oil-based products do those need, and how much hazardous waste does the manufacturing process produces? At least, aluminium only needs some energy to be manufactured, most of which is in renewable form (hydroelectric) and does not yield much carbon emissions.

    And lastly, an alumimum airliner is virtually immune to lightning strikes (being a Faraday cage), which is absolutely not the case of a plastic/composite airliner…

  40. Patrick July 8, 2007 at 10:06 am

    I work for a civil aircraft manufacturer, and believe me, carbon emissions have been on the radar of aircraft manufacturers for longer than its been on YOUR radar. Not only that, but fuel efficiency and noise are two of the other most important criteria for improvement in modern aircraft. Aircraft manufacturers do more work than you think to build these aircraft. Its really not easy.

  41. Marc Savoy July 8, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Great article, even greater site.

  42. Vlad Mazek - Vladville ... July 8, 2007 at 9:25 am

    [...] for the dynamics tab section of Shockey Monkey but instead ended up reading an article on the Boeing Dreamliner. Brilliant, and almost 10 minutes gone along with the idea I had before my digg.com homepage came [...]

  43. James Powell July 8, 2007 at 8:42 am

    That is one very cool looking aircraft.

  44. Craig Baker July 8, 2007 at 8:34 am

    I find it hard to believe that Boeing set out to build an aircraft that would reduce carbon emission. Given that the design of this aircraft would have started almost a decade ago, carbon emissions were barely on the radar. Boeing set out to build an aircraft that would use less fuel, making it more profitable for airlines to run.

  45. Eva in NL July 8, 2007 at 7:29 am

    Ok, a commendable effort but still doesn’t make flying any less harmful to the environment, especially taking into acount that less people wll be transported per flight.. I know travelling economy or coach sucks but it is still the equivalent of carpooling in the airline world.

    What I would love to see is that companies adopt a more thoughtul approach to wether or not the trip is actually necessary. There are so many online conference tools and applicaitons out there, It takes some getting used to, but after a short time you will find the benefits, not just to the environment. Thinik of the time wasted in transit: it can be used more efficiently, either in the workplace or at home. On a more personal level, it also makes me feel less guilty for booking a flight for a holiday seeing that I’ve cut down on my business trips.

    Last but not least, airmiles, gie us the opportunity to trade them in for carbon-neutralizing points if we so wish. Obviously not a new (or my) idea, but a good one…

    Eva

  46. Free TV July 8, 2007 at 6:38 am

    Even the coach or economy class looks better. Although it’s still very close together and cramped, at least it looks better.

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