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Thursday, July 28, 2005

7E7 vs 787

I might be a bit late with this piece of news but Boeing has just finalised the exterior look of the 787. From my limited experience with aircraft design, this is a crucial step as it would allow the component designers, especially the structural engineers to optimise and finalise their calculations. Now, let's see what has changed from the super-sexy 7E7 to the current not-so-sexy-but-still-pretty-sleek 787. The picture on the top is the original 7E7 and the one below it is the final design of the 787. The most obvious changes are:

  • the vertical stabiliser/fin which changed from aggressive-looking, shark-fin-like to a more upright, traditional-looking one
  • and the nose which has become more rounded and blunt
So, why has it changed so much? Well, the easy explanation is that designers and engineers are different. Designers value aesthetics and engineers, practicality. Anyway, Boeing is making a plane which airline companies can make greater profits with lower fuel consumption and higher efficiency. So, practicality wins in the end! What use is a plane which looks nice but can't fly? Anyway, a few more pictures for you showing the latest 787: Note the wings which are deflecting so much. Engines are huge! The winglet design (stuff at the wing tip) seems to have changed as well. Main difference between 787 and other planes would be the sweep angle of the wing, which is quite high. The nose seems sharper from the bottom view and the wings seem to be quite narrow, but could be due to the bigger sweep angle.


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