With the Boeing 787 Dreamliner recently out of the factory after a 2 year delay, it's first flight is widely expected during the summer of 2009 by aviation euthusiasts.
A few facts about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner:
The aircraft's use of lightweight composites will be unprecedented -- some 50 percent of the primary structure by weight versus 12 percent for the last all-new Boeing, the 777.
Its lighter weight and all-new engines are expected to make the plane 20 percent more fuel efficient than similarly sized planes.
Instead of panels bolted together, the 787's fuselage is woven out of composite in large barrels, saving tens of thousands of parts.
As composite materials do not rust, moisture in cabin air can be much higher than today's planes, promising a more pleasant flying experience.
The 787-8 Dreamliner will seat between 210 and 250 people.
The aircraft will fly at Mach 0.85, about 570 mph (920 kmh) at typical cruise altitudes, similar to a 747 jumbo.
The first version of the plane, the 787-8, will have a range of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 km to 15,200 km).
The 787-8 is 186 feet long (57 meters) and has a wingspan of 197 feet (60 meters).
List prices for the planes range from $146 million to $200 million, depending on model and configuration.
There will be four variants of the 787: The 787-8; the shorter-range 787-3 and the stretched 787-9 are scheduled to enter service in 2013. An even larger 787-10 is expected later still.
In the past, I have taken a keen interest on the larger varients of aircraft, such as the Airbus A340-600 and the Boeing 777-300ER, and the 787 is no expection; I think the longer 787-9 and 787-10 models will be stunning looking. However I have opted to builder the smallest variant, the 787-8 just for something a bit different.
My 787-8 model can be compared to the Lego model on sale; the 787 Dreamliner kits, however it should be noted that my model is built from scratch and differs hugely from the kit.
Those with a keen eye for detail will notice that the livery is not entirely accurate. For some reason Lego does not manufacture blue 3x12 wedge plates which is a bit frustrating thus the complete blue livery could not be applied to the tail section. Instead I have 'modified' the livery to the best of my ability. Also missing are the windows, something I did not bother putting effort into as most of my effort went into the dreamliner livery, which I did not want spoilt by windows. Consider this a freighter model :)
Here the nose and engines can be seen. The nose cone was built myself using old lego pieces, sculpted into the correct shape. The engines themseles were difficult to build and after a lot of kusing, I decided to add the smaller triangular 'chevrons' on the back of the engines. These are to reduce the noise output from the engines.
A front view of the model. The wingspan is quite larger, longer than the aircraft itself. The raked wingtips, a design by Boeing, adds a lot to but wingspan. The Boeing 787-3 model, if built, will feature upward pointing winglets rather than the raked wingtips. Here the engine diameter compared to the fuselage can also be seen. Engine designs feature larger cross sections now, especially when compared to older aircraft with smaller looking engines. Larger fan intake allows more air to add to the combustion process which equals more thrust, but a larger engine also increases drag. The line between more drag and more thrust needs to be balanced.
Here the cockit windows can be seen. This is purely a self built sticker shaped into the 787 cockpit windows. The 787 cockpit windows flow inline with the nose itself thus the design was actually quite easy to overcome. Only four actually window panes, where as current aircraft designs feature between 6 to 8 panes of glass.
With the top of the tail section removed, the horizontal stabilisers can be seen. These proved awkward to build due to the large sweep angle involved. These were built in a similar manner to the original lego kit. The stabilisers were built as one piece and 'clamped' by the upper half of the tail section, allowing a secure fixing.
Here a comparison between the standard lego grey wing and my own wing can be seen. Both are built using completely different methods. My wings have been increased in size, mainly as they were designed with the larger varients (787-9 and 787-10) in mind. The 787 in general features an extremely large wings when compared to existing planes of the same size. The aircraft of the future will feature larger wings to produce more lift and advancements in aerodynamics means a reduction in drag can be achieved over the increase in size.
Lastly a comparison of the engines. I'm not sure I liked the way Lego used a tyre rim as part of the main engine. Originally the 787 dreamliner liveries engine was to feature a blue bottom however Boeing has since decided to keep the engine one colour and that colour being white. This reduces the weight of paint on the engine and also amazingly reduces the drag between the different layers of paint. Airlines that have ordered the 787 have been told that they need to keep their engine nacelles one colour otherwise a drag penalty will be incurred.
An old version of my model before the Dreamliner livery was applied. A few things have been updated since such as larger engines, a rebuilt tail section including new horizontal stabilisers and improved cockpit windows.
The real thing, taken around the time the aircraft was first rolled out on the 8th of July 2008 or as Americans would write 7/8/07 ;-)
An example of a cargo version of the 787. Not actually planned for as of yet by Boeing, but perhaps 20 years from now they will start thinking about a cargo version.
Hopefully you enjoy this model and you share the shame excitement regarding the 787's first flight later this year. I hope to eventually modify this model and produce the Boeing 787-9 variant which will be 6 meters longer than the 787-8 model. Thanks for viewing!
Hey, wonderful model! I was looking into purchasing the new 787 released model from lego however, instead, i was wondering if you happen to have instructions on how you built your model. It is truly amazing!
Hey, it´s finally done and posted here:)! This is your best model so far. The nose cone is as accurate as it can get; the wings and tail are shaped so well! And then the very "demanding" color scheme on the fuselage - I´d say that´s perfection here... Did you actually melt down some Lego pieces in order to shape that nose cone? And if you did, could you explain to me how exactly you´ve done that? Cause almost all original Lego pieces one could use as a nose cone are rather insufficient - or one would have to built a cone out of pieces if the aircraft is large enough... Anyways,I´m glad you´re back and to see this model completed. Talk to you later, Steffen
Thanks guys for the kind words. The original set features some nice design ideas, I just felt the nose and engines let the model down. I have just started adding windows to my model, however they kind of ruin the livery abit but ah well.
I love it! That thing is the greatest Lego airplane I have ever seen in my entire life. The curvature of the cockpit, engines, etc. I really love every detail of this plane. If I was going to remove all the people on my favorite builders list, there would only be 2 people left - you and Stephen Kenny.