Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – Virtual Tour and Review

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Mock-up of the new Upper Class bar at Virgin Atlantic's design center

Mock-up of the new Upper Class bar at Virgin Atlantic’s design center

Nik Lusardi, who is responsible for having developed and delivered the interior design for Virgin’s Dreamliner, is understandably enthusiastic, something that readily apparent after several hours spent with Frequent Business Traveler looking at the aircraft. He spent several years modeling seats, lie-flat beds, and bars and bar stools, not to mention designing color schemes and picking out materials. The net effect is brilliant. While most of the Dreamliner’s more unusual aspects, significantly the larger windows, which have an electrochromic dimming feature instead of shades.  The windows, which are at a higher eye level, make the cabin seem much more airy and give passengers a better view of the horizon.

While most if not all Dreamliners come with LED mood lighting, Lusardi programmed the system to a deep purple for boarding, to be reminiscent of a candlelight dinner during dining, to dim to a silvery moonlight sky for bedtime, and to brighten like a sunrise prior to landing.


The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, widebody, twin-engine jet airliner that can seat around 280 passengers, depending on the airline’s particular configuration and the model ordered. It is the world’s first airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction, which makes it lighter and far more resistant to corrosion than earlier jets.


From a visual standpoint, the aircraft’s distinguishing features include a four-panel windshield and noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles.

It has a maximum takeoff weight of 502,500 pounds (227,930 kilograms) and total cargo volume of 4,400 cubic feet (124,594 liters), a 10% increase over a similarly sized Boeing 767-300. Boeing says it took 800,000 man-hours to design the aircraft and it went through 15,000 hours of wind tunnel testing.

Even with its similarities in size and capacity to the 767-300, the 787-9 Dreamliner consumes 20% less fuel. Boeing also estimates that the Dreamliner will cost 30% less in maintenance than current similarly-sized airliners.

Click here to continue to Page 3Composite Materials, Larger Windows, and Cleaner Air

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