Frequent fliers and airplane spotters may soon see some new aircrafts in the skies and on the tarmacs. The Airbus A350 made its debut in November of 2014 sporting a Qatar Airways branding and colors. While the Boeing 787-9 was released in October for its first commercial flight on Air New Zealand’s Auckland to the city of Perth.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is a wide-bodied, long range twin engine airplane that entered its commercial service back in October 2014. This aircraft has had its fair share of troubles, in particular on board fires that have been linked back to the aircraft’s lithium batteries. The 787-9 is made of a carbon-composite design; the plane was designed for fuel efficiency and emissions levels, which Boeing claims are 20% less than on similarly sized planes.
This aircraft was designed with the passengers in mind. New features include large, dimmable windows, large overhead bins and a smooth ride. The 787-9 won the praise of many passengers due to reduction of jet-lag as well as cabin noise. The Boeing 787-9 cabin features a relaxing archway design and a sky simulation effect through the use of color changing lights and aisles are wider as are the seats.
The 787-9 has been modified and is 210 feet long, which is 20 ft. longer than the 787-8 model. The 787-9 seats 280 passengers in a typical three cabin configuration. This configuration has increased seating compared to the 210 passenger 787-8. The flight range has also been increased to 8,300 nautical miles which is much longer that the 787-8. The Boeing 787-9 is competing with the new Airbus A350.
Air New Zealand was the first to take delivery of the 787-9 in October. United Airlines was the second one to follow suit. Other airlines that have placed orders for the new 787-9 include Etihad, American Airlines, Air France, Air Canada and Japan Airlines.
Etihad airways took possetion of their first 787-9 on January 3rd, 2015. The Abu Dhabi-based airline is the first of the three big Middle Eastern carriers to operate the 787-9.
The 787-9 will eventually be outsized by Boeing’s 787-10. The 787-10 model is not expected to enter final assembly and flight testing until 2017.
Airbus A350 XWB
The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus also has a new plane. The Airbus A350 XWB is also a wide body, long range, twin engine plane. The plane can carry 250 to 350 passengers in the three cabin configuration. Qatar Airlines has ordered 80 A350’s and is to write another page of history as owning the first Airbus A350 XWB. The first commercial service route for Qatar Airlines is set to start later on this month, service from Doha-Frankfurt. With the delivery of the A350 XWB aircraft, Qatar Airways becomes the first airline in the world to operate every family of Airbus’ modern airliner portfolio.
In addition to Qatar Airways, there are other airlines that have placed orders for the A350 include Singapore Airlines, Etihad, TAM Airlines, Air France, and Lufthansa.
In the Airbus A350 XWB passengers will benefit from a new boarding experience achieved by a unique dome-design entrance with welcoming light across the aircraft’s interior. The aircraft also features wide seats with generous room in all three classes of service, many design developments to this aircraft offers greater comfort to all passengers.
The Business Class cabin has 36 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration featuring an 80” full flatbed TV and 17” HD in-flight entertainment screen and an inflight bar. The Economy Class offers 247 18-inch wide seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, each offers a 10.6 inch in-flight television screen, and more space at shoulder level for those passengers in window seats. This can be done due to the vertical side wall panel design.
The jet also offers advanced air conditioning technology and LED mood lighting to enhance the comfort of passengers while reducing fatigue after a long flight. In addition, the jet will also offer in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity for all passengers allowing them to surf the web on the go.
Future models of the A350 include the 800 model, which is expected to begin commercial flights in 2016, and the 1000, which should make its commercial launch in 2017.
Which one will it be?
Both the Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350 XWB are the new all electric bleed less engines with massive electric motor-generators inside. The electrical systems support everything inside the aircraft and are under a lot of pressure. By moving on to all electric systems the airlines can save up to 20% on fuel.
The wait is finally over for aviation fanatics wanting to book a flight aboard the Airbus A350 XWB or the Boeing 787-9. These two airplanes are exemplary creations from two dependable manufacturers. With an early entry Boeing definelty has a head start, but Airbus is a strong option with its “standard” upgrades that could make up for the time gap.
Overall the aviation market outlook is upbeat and can accommodate both jets. As 2015 continues on, it will be interesting to see what aircraft passenger’s favorite in their airplane travels.