The History of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Photos

A tale of success and hardship for Boeing's flagship 787.

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In the earlier stages of 787 production, this 747-400 was reconfigured so that it could transport some of the large structural elements needed for construction of the Dreamliner. (Photos courtesy of Boeing)
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Boeing directors first approved the Dreamliner in 2003.
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**Final assembly of the first 787 Dreamliner, seen here, began in May 2007.****
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**The 787 uses 50 percent less fuel than similarly-sized airplanes and also produces 50 percent fewer carbon emissions.
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Both the wing and the fuselage of the 787 are composed of 50 percent composite materials.
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**The 787 has a range of 7,650 to 8,500 nautical miles.
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The twin-engine airplane is built to carry between 210 and 290 passengers.
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At 19-inches each, the 787 will boast the largest passenger windows of any modern commercial airliner.
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The first complete 787 made its debut in July 2007, in front of thousands of Boeing employees.
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While Boeing originally planned to complete the Dreamliner's first flight in 2007, a series of delays postponed the project. The 787 finally took to the air for the first time in December 2009.
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In 2010 the Dreamliner underwent severe weather testing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where it was exposed to low temperatures of - 45 degrees Fahrenheit and high temperatures of 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Boeing 787 deliveries began in the fall of 2011. The following July, visitors at Oshkosh had the first chance to tour the airplane.
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Soon after first deliveries, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner carried its first passengers in October 2011. The All Nippon Airways jet flew 240 passengers from Hong Kong to Tokyo.
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At the Farnborough International Airshow in England in July 2012, the Boeing 787 showed off the advanced jet’s capabilities to showgoers for the first time. However, a few weeks later, the NTSB began investigating a preflight incident caused by falling debris from a 787's engine that triggered a fire at Charleston International Airport in South Carolina.
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In January 2013, a battery fire broke out on an empty Japan Airlines 787 at Boston's Logan International Airport, after the auxiliary power unit exploded as the jet sat at the gate. (Photo courtesy of NTSB.)
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Following the Japan Airlines Boeing 787 battery fire in Boston, a second battery fire forced an All Nippon Airways Dreamliner to make an emergency landing in Japan. As a result, the FAA and EASA temporarily grounded the U.S. and European 787 fleets.
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During investigations of the Boeing 787 battery fires, the NTSB found evidence of thermal runaway and a short circuit in the 787 battery, though it was unclear which occurred first. (Photo courtesy of NTSB.)
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The Dreamliner finally saw hopes of returning to service in March 2013. The FAA approved a plan to test changes to the Boeing 787’s lithium-ion batteries in an effort to get the grounded airliners back in the air.