September 1, 2005 The Boeing Company revealed the flight deck for the all-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner yesterday and the view is so spectacular, we thought it worth running. The flight deck features new technologies while retaining significant operational similarity with the popular Boeing 777 and other Boeing jets. The combination provides airlines with dual benefits -- operational improvements and cost-saving commonality. The new flight deck features much larger display screens than previously seen in airplanes. The five 12-by-9.1-inch screens offer 546 square inches of display space -- twice that of the Boeing 777 -- allowing pilots access to more information. Other key features of the new 787 flight deck are the dual head-up displays (HUDs) and dual electronic flight bag. Boeing has offered HUDs and electronic flight bags on other models but with the 787 they are standard features. HUDs display information on clear screens mounted at eye level so the pilots can see flight data while looking out the windows. Electronic flight bags are the digital equivalent of the pilot's flight bag and include maps, charts, manuals and other data.
"We worked with airlines and their pilots from around the world to be sure that the changes we introduce with the 787 are improvements that help increase situational awareness and better manage pilot work load," said Mike Bair, vice president and general manager of the 787 program.
"One of the ways we are making the 787 a more valuable asset for the airlines and the financiers is by making more features standard," explained Bair. "In this way, 787s can be more easily moved as needed between fleets."
Another way that the 787 helps operators is by retaining a significant amount of commonality with the 777. Pilots who fly the 777 will need only five days of training to be ready to fly the 787. Airlines that use "mixed fleet flying," scheduling pilots to fly more than one kind of airplane, will find that the 777 and 787 are effectively configured for such operations.
Bair said: "Our job in configuring the flight deck and determining how the airplane will operate is to help the pilot have better access to information so that he or she can make the best decisions possible."
The 787 offers new information formats including an airport moving map for safer ground taxi operations and a vertical situation display to give a graphic rendering of approaching terrain profiles.
"This flight deck was designed to provide the best work environment possible for pilots," said Mike Carriker, chief pilot for the 787 program. "Anyone who has flown a Boeing commercial jetliner will feel right at home in the 787, and also will notice definite improvements."
Like the passenger cabin, the flight deck will feature unique styling that helps to create a pleasing atmosphere. And pilots will also enjoy the reduced maximum cabin altitude of 6,000 feet.
"As much as passengers are looking forward to the improved flying experience we are designing into the cabin of the airplane with its bigger windows and pleasing architecture, pilots are also going to want to fly in the 787 because of its flight deck," said Carriker.