For the first time, Boeing's amazing 787 Dreamliner aircraft landed at a US airport. The plane, owned by Japan Airlines, took its voyage from Tokyo nonstop to Boston. Japan Airlines doesn't get to earn credit as the first passenger craft to fly the large jet. That honor goes to All Nippon Airways, always a Japan-based company. But All Nippon has not taken the airplane onto US soil with customers on board.
The 787 is huge, but it isn't the hugest. Boeing's 777 is the truest marvel to watch. But the 787 earns a lot of points in another area - efficiency. It is the first airline in the world to use a composite fuselage. That means it makes much better use of the fuel on board, making it possible to pair up nonstop cities that currently aren't served by any other airline. The Tokyo - Boston flight, for example, is a staggering 13 hours in duration.
Despite all the problems with the economy and rising fuel prices, this is actually a pretty interesting time for the airline industry. Super-jumbo jets like the 777, along with the Airbus A380, can fit more passengers than ever before, and the new 787 opens up better travel options and the potential for airlines to save on fuel costs. So far, Boeing has sold and delivered nine of the Dreamliners. It has 850 additional orders to fill.