Dreamliner Gallery

Build your own 787 Dreamliner

A few months back I toured Boeing’s Dreamliner Gallery.  That’s the 54,000 square foot shopping center near the company’s Everett, Wa. plant where airlines go to pick out the carpeting, the seats and the interior elements of their new 787 airplanes.

I brought along photographer Jerome Tso to take pictures, and yesterday my story about that visit – with a 17-photo slide-show of Jerome’s photos – posted on USA TODAY, on the first day of the roll-out of their re-designed on-line travel section.

I encourage you to read the full article and click through the slide-show accompanying my Build your own Dreamliner story.   But in the meantime – here are a few photos of the Dreamliner features I’m looking forward to.

First  – the windows:

As you can see in this Dreamliner Gallery display panel – which compares the size of the Dreamliner windows to the size of the windows on a competitor’s plane – the 787 is going to have windows much larger than the windows we’re used to seeing on airplanes.  These shade-less, smart (electrochromic), glass windows will be the largest in the industry – and you’ll be able to dim them with the push of a button.

I’m also looking forward to the Dreamliner bathrooms.Don’t laugh. These little lavs will have both touchless faucets and touchless flushers. The flushers also automatically close the lid before flushing the toilet. And for anyone who’s ever tried to change into fresh clothes in an airplane bathroom, the Dreamliner bathrooms will have this simple but brilliant fold down step – so you can avoid having to put your feet on the sticky floors.

To see the full article, and Jerome Tso’s photos, please see Build your own Dreamliner on USATODAY.com.

Sneak peek at Boeing 787 Dreamliner

A few weeks ago, with photographer Jerome Tso in tow, I got to tour the 787 Dreamliner Gallery, which is where airlines go to shop for the specific components they’ll put in their planes.

My story about that visit (with Jerome’s great photos) will appear on USATODAY.com (and in the paper) next week, but I wanted to share a few of my favorites from that tour.

(Seat choices in the Dreamliner Gallery)

(The colors and materials gallery for the 787 Dreamliner)

Today, Wednesday, Feb. 3, on a tour of  Boeing’s third flight-test 787 Dreamliner, I had a chance to see how the components from the Dreamliner Gallery fit together.

There are six planes in the flight test program and this one – the interior test plane – is the first one to be equipped with seats, lavatories, overhead bins, galleys and some of the other components that passengers care about – like the shade-less windows that can be dimmed just by pushing a button.

It’s great to see just about everything on a brand new type of plane, but there were two items from today’s tour that I found especially intriguing.

The first was in the bathroom.  In addition to touch-less faucets, the lavatories on the 787 Dreamliners have an infrared feature on the toilet that not only flushes but closes the lid!

(Wouldn’t that be handy in your house?)

The other feature that caught my eye was a bit of a mystery.

It looks at first like one of those tiny coat hooks that will fold out from the wall but lie flat when not in use.

But this tiny panel has a cigarette butt symbol on it.

Well, according to the Boeing officials showing us the test plane, even though smoking is indeed not allowed on airplanes, the rules still require that there be ashtrays.

So Boeing set out to design the teeny-tiniest ashtray allowable and came up with this cute one-butt model.