Before the event passes into aviation and corporate history, a note of congratulations to Boeing for the debut of its 787 Dreamliner. The big unveiling occurred yesterday — July 8, or 7/7/07 — in Everett, Washington. (Boeing’s coverage is here, and we’ve uploaded a photo here.)
A few important facts about the jet: It’s the first one made mostly out of composite materials, which helps it use 20 percent less fuel per passenger than airplanes of similar size. Already 47 customers around the world have ordered 677 airplanes, worth $110 billion or more at list price. Last week, for example, Air Berlin ordered 25 of the airplanes valued at $4 billion, and Lufthansa is interested. And according to today’s news, it looks like Qatar has ordered 30 planes worth almost $5 billion.
Talk about helping the balance of trade, and not just via large, international corporations. NAM President John Engler likes to illustrate trade’s importance to small and medium-sized manufacturers by noting how he’ll pose the question, “So, do you do much exporting?” and the answer sometimes comes, “No, we only supply to Boeing.” (Or Caterpillar, as the case may be.)
Oh, it does appear that Airbus is jockeying with Boeing for bragging rights. Well, that’s all right.
All very exciting. Congrats.
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