The Dreamliner was built with more lightweight composite plastics than any previous Boeing airliner, making it more fuel-efficient than comparable planes. All Dreamliners were grounded for a few months in 2013 after overheating batteries prompted fears of onboard fires.
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787 windows are more than 30% larger than windows on comparable aircraft. Instead of shades, button-controlled dimmers adjust light coming through the windows.
The engines are designed to cut noise both inside and outside the aircraft. The Dreamliner is designed to fly up to about 9,400 miles (about 15,200 kilometers) -- more than one-third the circumference of the planet. Boeing touts it as the first midsize, long-range airliner.
The plane has a system that senses turbulence and commands wing control surfaces to counter it, which creates a smoother ride.
The 787's wingspan is 197 feet (60 meters), and its distinctive wings sweep back 32 degrees. Nearly half of the 787's airframe is made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, which reduces total weight and allows the plane to burn less fuel and save operating costs.
After worrisome overheating incidents, the 787 has a newly redesigned lithium-ion battery system that is better insulated, Boeing says. It adds a new containment and venting system to prevent possible overheating from affecting the plane. The main battery powers up the 787's electrical systems before the engines start and supports refueling.
The auxiliary power unit battery starts a small turbine engine in the airplane's tail called the APU. This unit provides power for ground operations and starts generators that power up the engines.
The 787 generates four times as much electricity as other Boeing airplanes. The system is designed to improve fuel efficiency, lower maintenance costs and lessen noise.
The cabin is pressurized to feel like the plane is flying at 6,000 feet, compared with cabin pressure in similar aircraft that feels more like 8,000 feet. Lower altitude lets the body absorb more oxygen, making passengers less susceptible to air sickness.
Special lighting on some 787s includes lavender light -- and during meal service -- an orange-colored tint. Lighting can change throughout long flights to simulate morning, afternoon and evening light.
Source: Boeing Company