Boeing's new 787 had its big rollout Sunday. It is always a thrill seeing new aerospace technology make its debut. Being "green" can be very good for business. Boeing had the option of building a super-size plane like the Airbus A-380. For a time Boeing considered building a faster airliner, the Sonic Cruiser. Finally they focused their limited R&D funds on the 787, an advanced plane which uses less fuel. They have sold over SIX HUNDRED 787's for a price of 250 million US per copy. Airlines want 787's so badly that Boeing can't keep up with the orders.
With all the troubles and delays of the A-380, Airbus will not have a competitor to the 787 until at least 2014 or sometime after the ORION spacecraft is in orbit. The 787 technology has already been applied to the new fuel-saving 747-8. Next Boeing will introduce a thrifty replacement for the 737, and make Google-sized money replacing a thousand 737's as they wear out. (That used to be a secret, and you read it here first.) The biggest competition to the 737 replacement will not come from Airbus, but from upcoming manufacturer like Canada's Bombardier and Brazil's Embraer. Having built smaller commuter aircraft, they are eager for a slice of the market.
July 20 is a special day in history and this blog has something planned in a very special place. (No, not the Moon.) A blogger learns the hard way not to announce where she is until after she has been there, or at least after getting through immigration. After all the trials, being amid history is a special thrill. This is a wonderful time to be alive.
UPDATE: Due to a continuing disagreement with engine-maker General Electric, the competing Airbus A-350 has been delayed yet again. Already the A-350 is at least 5 years behind the Boeing 787. Perhaps EADS will have better luck with the commercial spacecraft.