United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Virtual Tour and Review

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Multiple long-haul flights on the Dreamliner have given this traveler a very solid impression of the plane and what makes it different.

Given the amount of flying I do (and I know I fly appreciably less than some of our readers, but I am flying 31,000 miles in a period of 20 days this month), I am happy that over 13,000 of these miles will be in a Dreamliner on flights of 14 hours duration.

The cabin is significantly quieter than other similarly sized jets and Boeing claims that the aircraft’s noise footprint is up to 60% lower when compared to previous-generation aircraft. The newly found quiet is due to Dreamliner’s new engines, advanced acoustical linings, the lightweight composite materials, and a more aerodynamic wing.

Turbulence varies on every flight, but my Dreamliner flights have felt much smoother. This is due to gust control, another major innovation introduced in the Dreamliner. The “smoother ride” technology is designed to sense – and counter – turbulence while in flight.

The new electrochromic windows are another useful technology and far from a gimmick. The days of one passenger waking up half the plane by opening his shade are long past. Many passengers are pleasantly surprised to find out that the cabin crew could close all shades remotely and several night flights have proven that this is more than sufficient to darken the cabin to a comfortable level. The windows themselves, although darkened, were still somewhat transparent, but the cabin itself remained bathed in a cool and relaxing blue glow. Incidentally, the higher positioning of the window means that passengers in an aisle seat can more easily see outside without disturbing the passenger seated by the window.

As more and more Dreamliners join the fleets of various airlines, traveling on one will become commonplace, but it is most certainly not a common experience. It’s hard to describe the feeling one gets as a passenger but the overall spaciousness from increased headroom, larger windows, and better lighting, when combined with a far more comfortable environment and the quiet and smooth ride, portends a sea change in how we will travel in the future.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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