08 Haziran 2012

B787 Dreamliner @ Abu Dhabi Int'l Airport

Yesterday we had a special guest at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)...

Boeing's game-changer aircraft, B787 Dreamliner, was in AUH for a courtesy visit, as a part of the Dreamliner Promotion Tour. I was hoping to experience this aircraft as a passenger, but the opportunity to see it on the ground was also tempting enough. Aircraft was open to visit for two hours only. The first hour was reserved for Etihad staff and the second for ADAC staff, 50 people in each slot.

ZA003 is the third B787 built by Boeing for test flights, and it is going to be retired after all these courtesy visits. In other words, it is not going to be in commercial service. Aircraft was still smelling 'new', which was familiar to me. In 2009, when we were doing a photo shooting for the re-branding of SunExpress, a brand new B737-800 was the venue chosen right after its arrival to Antalya from Seattle.

I spent more than half an hour to check the Dreamliner's cockpit, crew rest areas, and even toilets, try one premium and two different economy class seat options, chat with Boeing staff about the materials used in the making of the aircraft and their 6 month-long tour around the world. A veteran Boeing staff distributing leaflets and stickers at the rear galley, looking a little bit stroppy, was one interesting character to note.

Aircraft itself is spacious, has modern lines, and many new features like shadeless windows bigger than any other commercial aircraft; deeper and wider overhead bins, which can accommodate 5 large hand baggage easily, sky interior, etc.

Every airline will have different cabin configuration, decoration, and seat features -- seemingly small details that make big differences. A380s are a good example of this. Both Emirates and Lufthansa use them, but they offer a completely different experience to their passengers, especially in premium cabins. So I am looking forward to flying with B787 to see the real thing, but overall this static tour was a very nice experience for an aviation freak like me.

You may check B787's official site to get more information here. I also share some links about this visit and B787's commercial usage;