back to article Boeing builds British Airways 787 Dreamliner in 4 minutes

British Airways took the delivery yesterday of its first 787-9 Dreamliner, and released an entertaining video showing just how quickly Boeing put the thing together. The 787-9 is slightly larger than the 787-8, and BA has, for those with deep pockets, reduced the seats in the first class cabin from 14 to just eight. The …

  1. theOtherJT

    Jet engines...

    Despite being so simple in general principle it always amazes me when I see one "undressed" like that what incredibly complicated objects they actually are in practice.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Jet engines...

      Not to mention the absurdly tight tolerances they require, both during manufacture and operation. Saw a programme about it a while ago (a Discovery Channel special) and they were talking about how accurate everything needed to be and how high quality, as if not the stresses involved during normal operation would basically make the whole thing self destruct quite catastrophically.

      My hat would definitely have to be doff'd to the boys and girls who keep those things flying so well, pint would be bought if they didn't need such a steady hand...

      1. J P
        Pint

        Re: Jet engines...

        IIRC, a pint can actually steady the hand - in the fogs of memory, images of the snooker player Bill Werbenuik (hope I've spelled that correctly) come to mind; he used to down several pints a session as the alternative Beta Blockers were a banned substance under tournament rules. I may have remembered that wrong, but still, it's a good excuse...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Jet engines...

          Works great here whether for pool or micro-miniature repair.

        2. Rusty 1

          Re: Jet engines...

          The Ballmer Peak springs to mind - https://xkcd.com/323

      2. Chris Watson 2

        Re: Jet engines...

        Was the documentary BBC's How To Build... A Jumbo Jet Engine?

        https://youtu.be/pbrj4gjUAqk

    2. JasonLaw

      Re: Jet engines...

      Pretty stoked that I flew on this exact plane just a couple of weeks ago on the LHR->EWR route.

      The dimming windows are pretty cool and it's whisper quiet in flight.

      But .... still second best to the A380. Still the number 1 in my book.

    3. MyffyW Silver badge

      TUI Gaffer Tape

      It was the gaffer tape holding the bog together on a recent TUI flight that made me question the build quality of these crates.

      'Twas there on the way out, and still there (albeit a little more threadbare) 14 days later on the flight back. Got to love Thomson.

      1. Tom Samplonius

        Re: TUI Gaffer Tape

        "It was the gaffer tape holding the bog together on a recent TUI flight that made me question the build quality of these crates."

        Blame TUI? The cabin fittings aren't usually even provided by the airplane manufacturer. And even if they are, they are extensively customized to the requirements, and budget, of the customer. I suspect TUI used their entire budget up on the seats, and had to go as cheap as possible on the ancillaries, like toilets.

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

    It is used on routes where you pay premium just for the honor of flying direct like Austin and you are charged "direct flight" premium. For example LHR-Austin with one stop using any number of airlines is ~ 60% of the cost of BA direct routes. Same for others.

    I really do not want to know what first class costs in this thing. Just economy is eye watering (and not worth the 2-2.5 hours saved on being able to skip a xfer).

    1. ravenviz

      Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

      Depends when you travel, how long you stay, if you stay over a Saturday, etc.

      I got London - Calgary - Houston - Minneapolis - London for cheaper than London - Houston return, just because I stayed over two weekends.

    2. TWB

      Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

      When I fly, I enjoy the flight but hate the airport parts*, so for me a direct flight would be worth it - but then I count flying as a luxury that I only do every few years, so I like to make it as stress free as possible.

      * getting to/from the airport, worrying about mislaying my tickets/passport/luggage, checking in, security (do they have to be so unpleasant? I am always polite and helpful), going through the airport, having to wait at the gate for so long etc etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA @TWB

        security (do they have to be so unpleasant? I am always polite and helpful)

        America's TSA is notorious in this respect, which makes the premium associated with the OP's LHR-Austin example a price worth paying.

        1. Calum Morrison

          Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA @TWB

          Weirdly, I had the most pleasant experience I've ever had at security the other night in Dulles; the chap working at the conveyor was cheery, enthusiastic and helpful. It actually made the process almost pleasant!

    3. aBloke FromEarth

      Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

      nah, no first class according to seatguru. At BA direct prices it'd probably be cheaper to go private...

      1. GavinC

        Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

        The 787-9 (featured in the video) has first class, but the 787-8s that are currently in service do not have first class.

    4. GavinC

      Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

      That happens with all airlines, it's a supply and demand thing. Look at flights out of Paris, and you'll find BA to be significantly cheaper than Air France, and in fact cheaper than booking the same flight originating in London. Price up a flight from Geneva-London-San Francisco and you will find it £100 cheaper than the exact same flight originating in London.

    5. ckm5

      Last time I flew first on BA from SFO to LHR

      ... it was an upgrade. And I had a cubical with a footstool for my manservant.... I calculated that I had something like 15 sq ft to myself. There was even a curtain to hide me from the other 'special people'.

      The best part by far was that they turned off all the lights basically immediately after takeoff and there are no announcements - in fact, I got the following msg on the screen "In-flight entertainment has been paused for an announcement in another cabin" ;-)

      I did lookup the fare after I got home, it was $18,000. This was in 2006-07 IRC. As far as my upgrade, I was flying 150k miles/yr and buying a lot of 'full fare' tickets. On this flight, I paid $4000 for an economy (plus? don't remember) ticket for a 4hr meeting in Cambridge.... I don't think anyone up front ever paid full price for the privilege of sitting there. Most are/were probably poor shlubs like me that traveled too much.

      I also seem to recall that BA had 4 classes at the time and the class below 'first' (which you might refer to as 'business') had basically the same seats/configuration as most other airlines 'first' (e.g. partitions, fold flat, large screen, large trays in the armrest etc). 'Economy plus' (or whatever BA called it) used what on other carriers were 'business class' seats. The food on 'first' & 'business' was effectively the same (e.g. very good), and both 'economy' classes got the prison fare.

      All that said, I don't fly much any more other than for the occasional vacation. With the 9/11 changes & the growth of air travel, it's just too much of cattle experience, not to mention that for overseas travel, the prices from the US seem to have doubled or tripled.

      1. phil dude
        Pint

        Re: Last time I flew first on BA from SFO to LHR

        Virgin Atlantic Upper Class has a bar at the back of the front of the plane...

        It looks like this, and the purple is *lovely* on a night flight...

        'nuff said.

        P.

        1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

          Re: Last time I flew first on BA from SFO to LHR

          @phil dude

          Ah, yes. Shooting the breeze at 30,000 ft. Nearest I'll get to being cool.

          1. phil dude
            Pint

            Re: Last time I flew first on BA from SFO to LHR

            Not *everyone* can sleep, even on flat beds...it just helps ;-)

            Being dehydrated and at the atmospheric equivalent of 0.75 atm, with the noise of air passing the fuselage at 550 mph, is not ideal unless you are medicated to not care. I have witnessed a banker taking sleeping tabs for the trip!!

            Hence, my question about the Dreamliner (tm) and its carbon fibre body. Apparently, the new design permits higher pressure and humidty...and I am curious if anyone has noticed a difference?

            P.

      2. Steelted

        Re: Last time I flew first on BA from SFO to LHR

        Rich business man?

    6. x 7

      Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

      but why would anyone want to fly to Austin, direct or otherwise? Its a bit like charging a premium for flying to Skelmersdale...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

        ...charging a premium for flying to Skelmersdale

        Our local aerodrome is Burscough - you'd have to pay the pilot a hefty premium to give that a go, I'd certainly give good money to see it - a Space Cowboys style landing might just do it.

        ..but the 'Valley of the Thieves' these days has character - preferable to Austin at least.

    7. Jason Hindle

      Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

      If they introduce the 787-9 to the Austin route, I'll certainly look into burning some miles in first, for a long weekend break. Economy class should come with a health warning; BA have deployed a very high density 3-3-3 configuration. I recently tried Qatar's very similar configuration (fortunately a one hour hop, from Doha to Muscat) - ultra modern, but you're in constant physical contact with the person next to you.

      Edit: Compared to BA's flying dormitory, Qatar's business product, on the 787, looks rather nice.

      1. MrXavia

        Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

        "BA have deployed a very high density 3-3-3 configuration. "

        I won't fly in an aircraft in a 3-3-3 configuration, I don't mind 2-4-2, same number but less cramped at the windows..

        I usually fly Virgin Premium Economy, which is 2-3-2, now that is a nice cabin! but even Virgin Atlanticsw economy last I flew it felt & looked better than BA's Premium economy!

    8. Morten Bjoernsvik

      Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

      Norwegian has flown Dreamliners for 2 years now. some initial problems with spare part availability I believe they were first in Europe. You can fly direct Oslo-Oakland for £250 and Oslo-Bankok for £300,

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You need deep pockets for any class on 787 with BA

        BA's business class has dropped behind a lot of the competition in recent years. Its partner airlines; American, Qatar, Qantas and Cathay all offer a better business class seat, although not across their fleets. Some of them don't have lie flat seats, which in my humble opinion is the whole point of business class nowadays.

        As for cost, the prices vary a hell of a lot. And has been mentioned, direct flights always carry a premium over those with connections. I've flown on Qatar's 787 a few times. Cheaper via Doha in business class than premium economy on BA. Much longer time travelling but at least you can have a kip. Economy on the 787 is apparently terrible.

        Anyway, I've got a ticket booked on one of these new ones. A few hundred quid plus a whole bunch of Avios to fly to KL in the sardine can. Looking forward to it.

  3. ravenviz
    Devil

    Nice video.

    Apart from the CGI'd tailfin colours for most of it.

    1. Chris Wicks 1

      Re: Nice video.

      Heh, good spot.

    2. John 104

      Re: Nice video.

      @ raveniz, all

      You are all not paying attention. the tail fin is not CGI. It is pre-painted. Notice during the tail end of the video when they mask the aircraft for painting, its completely covered. Could be that while they can easily paint the fuselage and wings, it might not be cost effective to rig a painting gun to go as high. Or it may just be cheaper to have them painted during the assembly of the stabilizer.

      1. ravenviz
        Facepalm

        Re: Nice video.

        @John 104

        Bloody is, look at 1:43 - 1:49.

        Anyway, look at this video of Scoots First Dream Liner Boeing 787 Assembling in plant 3.3 minutes. Look familiar?

        1. WaveSynthBeep

          Re: Nice video.

          The aircraft that comes out of the hangar is G-ZKBA, BA's first 787 which was delivered to LHR last week. If you watch carefully at 1:44 and 2:15 the airframe is labelled line number 233, which is apparently JY-BAF, an aircraft delivered to Royal Jordanian almost a year ago. An aero engine geek (not me) could probably tell the difference because G-ZKBA (line number 346) is fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, while JY-BAF has GE GEnx-1B.

          For the record G-ZKBA took exactly two months from loading to first flight... only 60x as much as the Wellington bomber.

          1. 080

            BA's First 787

            "The aircraft that comes out of the hangar is G-ZKBA, BA's first 787"

            BA's first 787 was G-ZBJA delivered on 28 June 2013 a -800, G-ZKBA is their first 787-900

          2. Timbo

            Re: Nice video.

            "If you watch carefully at 1:44 and 2:15 the airframe is labelled line number 233, which is apparently JY-BAF, an aircraft delivered to Royal Jordanian almost a year ago."

            Yup - the video is of at least two different builds. Look at 2:16-2.17 and as the port engine is lifted, at the right of frame you can see a painted tail - and it's not a BA "flag" !!

            So, maybe some CGI was added to hide a different marking on a tail? (on order to make it look like this was "one" build and not a compilation).

    3. ckm5

      Re: Nice video.

      All the tail fins are pre-painted in airline colors. I know this for a fact as I was at 787 assembly in July*. The reason is crystal clear when you visit - it is a great PR stunt showing off all their customers. The reason for the re-spray is that the white coating is not actually the final 'paint' - it's a UV protection coating/primer for the carbon fiber body....

      *If you are ever near Seattle, Washington (and you are even remotely interested in tech), you owe it to yourself to visit Boeing assembly in Everett. It is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen in my life and they give tours seven days a week.

    4. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nice video.

      Good catch! The back side of the tail wasn't blurred to match the low quality camera and the mask is slightly misaligned.

  4. Your alien overlord - fear me

    I hope they don't fall apart that quickly.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge
    Joke

    Nice video

    I haven't seen British workers go at such a pace since 1966, when the night shift were keen to get home to watch the World Cup final.

    PS: Yes I know they are Boeing workers. But the joke wouldn't work otherwise. I'm sure many would say it doesn't work at all.

    1. Uffish

      Re: Nice video

      There's a film out there showing the assembly of bombers (Lancaster or Wellington probably) during the war. It was bloody good propaganda for British workers as it had a fair amount of mechanical insight and jargon. I think it was addressed principally to the Americans. A complete plane in 24 hours - real time.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Nice video

        Re. Wellington. Here's the link.

        M.

  6. Ol'Peculier

    Tail fin

    Wonder why the tail fin arrives already painted, when the rest doesn't?

    1. LAGMonkey
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Tail fin

      I was thinking that as it was a publicity video, ether BA or Boeing had words with one another and requested the pain job in order to identify the aircraft on the production line for the cameras (and audience).

    2. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: Tail fin

      There's something not-quite-right about the tail fin. I'm tempted to say it's CGI...

      (blah blah pixels blah)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tail fin

      The plane already had at least a base coat on all the section before they were assembled, it may be that details that do not cross where segments join or bolt/rivet holes are can be done before final assembly, which would save time in the large paint room that may allow the line to move faster.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Tail fin

        That or they're still haunted by past embarassment over the things and so get in early with them?

    4. ckm5

      Re: Tail fin

      It's a PR stunt and really obvious why when you visit the factory. Def. not CGI unless they have some way of CGIing four planes in an assembly line when you are looking at them 'in real life'. See my reply above for more details.

      There are often logos of other 'partner' companies on the planes, as well as country flags. I'm not sure if these are actually painted on, they could be vinyl.

      1. ravenviz

        Re: Tail fin

        We're not disputing that tail fins might be or are pre-painted, just *this* video has a BA tail fin added by CGI.

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: Tail fin

          If you look at 1:48 as they move the plane, you can see there's nothing painted on the tail. Also, the US flag on the right is moving slightly, and we all know there's no wind in Seattle, and what's more the shadows are all wrong. I'm going to stick my neck out and say the Dreamliner doesn't actually exist.

          1. firu toddo

            Re: Tail fin

            And at 1:43 you get a look at the other side of the fin, it's blank too. That's the side you see the BA logo on as the tail is wheeled in.

          2. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

            Re: Tail fin

            It is undeniable that *some* 787's are assembled with pre-painted tails, and others are not. Google "Everett 787 line" images and it's obvious... but it's also obvious that this video is fairly generic: much of the same footage has been used for other customers ("Scoot", as noted above)... but the videos become specific once the aircraft gets to the paintshop. And there's your real clue: if the aircraft shown been painted in BA colors hadn't actually had a pre-painted tail, why did they mask the tail in the paint bay?

            So the bottom line is that this video is a hodgepodge of stock footage, (possibly) CGI-modded stock footage, and actual footage of the aircraft under discussion!

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Impressive Factory

    Spent some time in the everet facility in washington state earlier this year saw the assembly lines for the dreamliner and 777, quite a sight, and a fair bit of a walk as well.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you are quick off the ball

    You can often get a free upgrade to BA First Class from Business Class. I did last weekend on the Dulles->LHR route. Very nice indeed.

    Don't forget that BA Business class gives you a bed on long haul. A good number of other airlines don't give you that in Business Class.

    As for flying through US Hub airports.... What are you silly? I've done the LHR->SAN (San Diego) route a number of times. From casual conversations with other passengers I found out that some were even prepared to drive donw from LA to avoid using United/American and LAX. Getting through US Immigration at the smaller airports is a far nicer experience than at the hubs (MIA is a cattle market)

    We might slag off BA but IMHO they do a pretty good job especially when compared with pretty well all US Carriers andthe likes of Air France

    1. Ol'Peculier

      Re: If you are quick off the ball

      I flew LHR > YUL (Montreal) with BA and ORD > MAN back with American earlier this year. Guess which was the best experience?

      The plane on the way back didn't even have a in-flight entertainment system fitted, just screens up in the bulkhead. Horrid experience, but it wasn't unexpected. (didn't have any realistically economic alternatives)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you are quick off the ball

      Don't forget that BA Business class gives you a bed on long haul. A good number of other airlines don't give you that in Business Class.

      Actually if it's a Jumbo I thing I prefer club on BA to first, the rear facing window seats upstairs are great, so much space to chuck all you junk. A row of low lockers which then act as tables... Much more room to spread out than in first. Neither first nor business seem to like my laptop :-( both their power supplies just cut out the moment I switch it on :-(

      Of course the food and wine is much better in first, and the first class lounge at Heathrow go and cook fresh bacon butties for you so that should score highly on the El'Reg ranking system. But often the turn over in the club lounge means they are nearly as good as freshly cooked just for you ones.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you are quick off the ball

        I'll second that about the upstairs on the 747s; last time I was on one, I had *too much* storage space (kept forgetting which bin had what!). My most recent flight was switched from a 747 to an A380 (just after the Las Vegas fire - I assume they were short of planes) and whilst the whole flight was smoother and quieter, there was noticeably less storage space in the same upstairs, front row window position. Still more than necessary mind. And so much room in the toilet!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If you are quick off the ball

          Surely it's better to be quick off the mark, quick on the ball and slow off the ball?

          Just saying ...

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: If you are quick off the ball

      As for flying through US Hub airports.... What are you silly?

      Yes, the experience, especially for a foreigner, of transferring at a US airport is dreadful. There's the pointless but demeaning TSA stuff but even worse is having to take your luggage through customs again. So when flying from Europe, change there first.

      We might slag off BA but IMHO they do a pretty good job especially when compared with pretty well all US Carriers andthe likes of Air France

      Well, while changing at CDG is never pleasant, I've found service on Air France to be pretty good. Unfortunately, the domestic services are marred by a stupid surcharge for checked luggage which just seems to encourage passengers to bring far too much hand luggage.

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Expensive, but the service is always first class...

    I once had to get back to London from San Fran in a great hurry. I booked a last minute ticket with Virgin only to be told that the plane was full when I turned up to board (i.e. overbooked). Nothing they could do about that apparently - I just had to wait for the next flight (3hrs later).

    After approaching to BA desk to see if they had anything - they walked me straight through the airport security, straight onto the plane, into the jump seat, and home for free. I even got a bottle of champers.

    Class.

    1. Steelted

      Re: Expensive, but the service is always first class...

      You must be a white man.

  10. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    But for a GENUINE fast build...

    Anyone remember the 1943 film "Workers Weekend" which was a documentary recording the workers at Broughton really building a Wellington bomber from scratch in 24 hours flat (well, 23 hours and 50 mins and it took off less than an hour later)

    Available at National archives to download

    http://apps.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/focuson/film/film-archive/player.asp?catID=2&subCatID=7&filmID=8

  11. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Facepalm

    American airlines (generally, not just AA)

    For an economy that prides itself on customer service it still astonishes me that the American carriers are miles behind their European counterparts.

    Example - on a business class flight on United to Washington my entertainment console wasn't working. The instant response from the cabin staff was "What do you expect me to do about it?". I had to insist on changing seats but I'm sure they marked me down as a troublemaker because of it as I had to ask more than once for a drink, bottle of water, napkin and similar.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: American airlines (generally, not just AA)

      "For an economy that prides itself on customer service"

      Small businesses, yes. My experiences of them are very positive. Large companies...welcome to capitalism, comrade, you are the oppressed masses.

      1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

        Re: American airlines (generally, not just AA)

        Yep. That's about it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: American airlines (generally, not just AA)

          My folks flew back from NY on AA in economy the other week. My dad was woken up by the steward who was actually hitting him on the arm with his breakfast (in a cardboard box) to make him wake up,

          Made me laugh. This is actually good for AA crew.

  12. Steve Evans

    But why????

    Why are they building the body components so far from the assembly plant? That's at least 4 flights of the transport aircraft to bring all the bits in!

    I know that's how Airbus do it, but Airbus is a logistical nightmare created by politicians to prove Europeans can actually get along without shooting/invading each other!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: But why????

      As I understand it, much is outsourced off-shore... wings, fuselage components,

    2. UncleZoot

      Re: But why????

      The foreign made components on the Boeing aircraft are because of a risk share arraignment. Instead of Boeing having to pay to design and develop the part, the "partner" did and they get paid when the aircraft sells.

      The design company also has to provide support to both Boeing and the aircraft customer.

  13. Speltier

    No more Moon Shots on My Watch!!

    Heck, might as well write Boeing off as another has-been loser company only capable of incremental baby step improvements.

    Good riddance McNerney, take your wad of cash and toxic money wasting labor relations [Forbes] and have a helpful steel toed booting out the door.

  14. phil dude
    Megaphone

    hang on...

    I thought the whole point (yes, from an inflight magazine) of the Dreamliner was that it made of carbon fibre which allows 2 major changes:

    1) Bigger/arbitrary windows: As carbon fibre is stronger and does not have "fault" lines.

    2) Higher pressure and humidity : As carbon fibre does not corrode.

    Any commentards know if these things have come to pass...?

    P.

    1. ssharwood

      Re: hang on...

      I flew on an Air India 787 last week. The Windows are lovely and large. Not sure about the pressure/humidity caper. But the cabin was nicely spacious. Now if only the Air India food hadn't left me a little ... erm ... delicate ...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it's anything like Virgin's Dreamliner

    Avoid it like the plague. Worst flight I have ever taken (and I fly for a living). Economy is really cramped. Legroom is legal minimum (same as long haul budget operators), extra seat per row, reducing seat width and aisle width.

    Nightmare liner more like. Actively avoiding them, it seems they are covering us massive cost cutting by giving a name that implies luxury. Perhaps if you spend £5kk for your flights, or of apple pay your travel expenses for saying how nice the new iPhone is. For the rest of us that travel economy or " premium " economy, its bad news.

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Re: If it's anything like Virgin's Dreamliner

      @AC... you're making the common mistake of assuming that the aircraft type has much to do with the aircraft interior. Airlines decide how many seats to stick in an aircraft, and often use different layouts (and spacing) within a fleet. So all your anecdote amounts to is "avoid Virgin's 787".

      And sometimes the advice depends on your ticket type, too: if you're flying AA business class, choose a 777-300 ('77W') over a 777-200, because the 77W BC seats are great, but if you're flying coach and *don't* have some way of getting the "premium economy" seats, always pick the 777-200 (9 across in back) over the 777-300 (10 across).

  16. Martin Budden

    That bloke with the really big wrench...

    ...fixing on the wings (1:12). He's got an important job! No wonder they have a second bloke watching him to make sure he does it right.

  17. JaitcH
    Unhappy

    What's with the FOUR MINUTES?

    This article reminded me of a much shown movie many years ago.

    LONDON TO BRIGHTON IN FOUR MINUTES.

    In those days the clever tricks they used were much more complicated to execute but notwithstanding very entertaining.

    Of course, anyone who has recently travelled from London to Gatwick, or vice versa, realises that little has been done to even approach that speed depicted in the film in the decades since it was made.

    Unfortunately, another film, Genevieve, circa 1953, better depicts the London / Brighton link, and was a British comedy film of two couples comedically involved in a veteran automobile rally.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: What's with the FOUR MINUTES?

      This article on the BBC News website has clips of the London to Brighton film:

      London to Brighton Non-stop

      M.

  18. MJI Silver badge

    And benefits the UK economy

    The Dreamliner is not all American either, British undercarriage and for a lot of customers British engines.

    About 1/4 of the cost goes to the UK.

  19. Andy 97

    Frequesnt flyer complaint.

    I know the BA PR elves will be reading through all these comments.

    YOUR LOYALTY SCHEME IS RUBBISH!

    In these days of cost cutting by c-level people, us 'mere mortals' have to always fly cattle class.

    Would it be too much to ask for some occasional love on long haul flights?

    Perhaps a cheeky lounge entry once in a blue moon or even priority to book exit row seats if you're 80% near your next tier.

    Even KLM/Air France has a better scheme.

    Sorry for the moan all you non-flyers.

  20. James Anderson

    Air line pricing.

    The machines have taken over and the pricing booking systems are incredibly complex.

    But the basics are quite simple. Imaging a linear equation where one line plots how many many people are desperate enough to get somewhere they will pay a given fair, and another line plotting how little the airline is prepared to charge in a desperate attempt to fill the plane.

    In spite of all the technology and maths involved these systems give all the appearance of a random number generator.

    e.g. My recent return ticket Miami to Alicante and back on a "proper" airline cost less than an Alicante to Glasgow return on a cheapo airline (the politer one).

  21. Ambivalous Crowboard

    Yo dawg

    Is that a plane inside a plane I see?

  22. IanDs

    787 isn't as pleasant to fly in long-haul as 777/747 or Airbus -- one reason is that something that sounds both cool and a good idea -- LCD "window blinds" instead of pull-down plastic ones -- isn't because they still let some light through when "closed". Try going to sleep (to get onto destination time) when the sun's up outside and then see how good you think they are...

  23. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Painted tails

    All presold Boeings and Airbusses have the tails painted during preassembly - the reason supposedly being that they can be properly balanced that way - but it's certainly good for PR too.

    Whitetails end up taking more time in the paint shop when sold, or they make _very_ sure there's no paint added to the rudder - bear in mind that paint jobs tend not to be symetric and there's a few hundred kg of mass involved.

    R&D into blown surfaces for the rudder means that tailfins might end up being substantially smaller than they currently are (they are as large as they are to provide sufficient control during engine-outs, at cost of substantial drag penalty) and hopefully easier to dynamically balance during normal operations.

    1. Steelted

      Re: Painted tails

      Your comment is wonderful and insightful, Alan.

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