Courtney Makela has a passion for the 787. As the Boeing Fleet Chief for the new Dreamliner that's no bad thing!
Speaking recently at the MRO Middle East 2011 conference in Dubai, Courtney elaborated about the aircraft's composite structure, its fibre optic backbone, its fuel efficiency, its new cooling system and its advanced aerodynamics. This aircraft truly looks like a bird in flight with a wing shape that couldn`t be achieved with the use of traditional metals. The shape delivers additional aerodynamic benefits as it allows for a fluid movement of air around the wing.
According to Boeing, this mostly composite commercial airplane, will use 20 percent less fuel per passenger than similarly sized airplanes, produce fewer carbon emissions, and will have quieter takeoffs and landings.
With 847 aircraft on order, the B787 became the fast selling wide-body in history when it was launched in 2007. Dogged by delays since it was scheduled to enter service in May 2008, the aircraft is now anticipated to begin flying with launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) later this year.
The many questions from Middle East participants at the conference indicate that this is an eagerly awaited aircraft and from a maintenance perspective, there will be keen interest in how all this new technology will change the MRO landscape. We will have to wait several years to understand the full impact and also to see how Boeing perform with Goldcare, their lifecycle solution providing maintenance, engineering and material management.
TUI Travel PLC, will be the launch customer for the Goldcare offering which will support their 13 airplanes currently on order, for a period of 12 years from the time they enter service.
So, Courtney and the team have their work cut out for them to meet the new deadlines but there is also a lot of goodwill urging them on as aviation awaits the delivery of this latest commercial aircraft, something that doesn’t come around all too often in this industry.