While Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) continues to pursue the race to the furthest reaches of our galaxy (and beyond) Boeing and Airbus are still working to make air travel that much better here on Earth.
Or, rather, in the skies of Earth.
Indeed, Boeing has finally introduced its new 787-10 “Dreamliner” passenger air carrier. The new craft improves on the previous Dreamliner model—the 787-9—in several ways. First of all, the new 787-10 will be able to carry 330 passengers: that is roughly 40 more than the passenger capacity of the previous model. Not only does the 787-10 have 14 percent more seats, however, but this airliner will also have 15 percent more cargo space. In addition, the plan is designed for long haul flights (of course) with a range of roughly 12,000 km; more importantly, the plane gets 25 better fuel economy than any other plane of its size.
Just what, exactly, is that size? Well, the 787-10 has a wingspan of about 60m with a 574cm cross-section—the same as both the 787-8 and the 787-9—but is 68m longer. Take note, though, that the larger size means that it cannot, necessarily, travel the same long distances as its slightly smaller predecessor. Still, the new 787-10 Dreamliner will have no trouble transporting passengers between Europe and Asia or Northern Asia and North America or Europe to the United States (even the west coast).
While these initial tests certainly prove that the new Dreamliner model is likely everything it was cracked up to be (and probably more), it is still just a little too early to regard it as the future of passenger air travel. Indeed, there are many more months of testing in store before the 787-10 will be approved to carry actual paying passengers in a real flight.
In a strange coincidence—or is it?—Airbus also unveiled, earlier today, its latest commercial airliner. Built in Hamburg, Germany, Airbus announced the A319neo, which left from the Bavarian factory en route to the company’s headquarters in Toulouse, France. Going, essentially, in the opposite direction of Boeing, the Airbus A319neo is the smallest of the company’s airline—and the “neo” term in the name is actually an acronym of “New Engine Option.” And this N.E.O. will ensure that the A319 can easily hop the Atlantic, though, it is designed for shorter routes.