Review: Boeing 787 Dreamliner / by David Mather

I recently took my second flight on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and would like to share a quick review. The first flight was both short haul and largely hidden from me by a (most typical) whole-flight sleep! This time I had an almost four hour flight, of which I remained awake for about 80% - but it is called a Dreamliner!! I was lucky enough to be sat in a window-aisle pair of seats in the 2-3-2 section at the front of the plane, as the cabin narrows to the cockpit. The majority of the plane had the 3-3-3 confifiguraiton.

The scale of the aircraft is impressive from the moment you see it at the gate. I'm used to traveling on smaller passenger jets, such as the Airbus A319's in Easyjets fleet. The Airbus A319 has a wingspan of 35.8m, however the dreamliner's wingspan is 60.7m. With the larger fuselage the cabin felt spacious too, with much higher ceilings than smaller aircraft. The plane was quiet and comfortable, helped I'm sure by a smooth flight from end to end. The larger size allows more passengers to be carried, typically 291 people.

Boeing claim that the 787 is 20% more fuel efficient than the plane it replaces, the 767. Comparing the fuel consumption on a 'per passenger' basis the 787-8 is a notable improvement. Over a London to New York flight it burns 2.26 L/100km per passenger, where as the mainstay of this transatlantic route, the jumbo jet, a Boeing 747, has a fuel consumption of 3.24 L/100km per passenger. Even small differences in fuel consumption for each plane will have a large impact as London Heathrow alone has over 200,000 passengers flying each day.

The cabin was lit with ambient colour changing lighting which follows the colour of the sky for the local time, simulating sunrise and sunset. Lighting of this nature aims to keep passengers 'body-clock' or circadian rhythm constant to minimise jet-lag. The tech doesn't end there either, the windows don't have physical blinds but electronic shades and the cabin pressure is higher (lower alitude) than typical airliners.