Korean Air has unveiled its brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner today at Incheon Airport. Walter Cho, president of Korean Air, was present at a ceremony at the Korean Air hangar to unveil Korea’s very first Dreamliner to the public.
The aircraft which Korean Air is introducing will provide a whole new experience for passengers. The internal cabin pressure has been decreased to the equivalent of 1,800m (6,000ft) altitude instead of 2,400m (8,000ft) on conventional aircraft. Furthermore, the humidity level will be set in the 15%~16% range, which will significantly improve passengers’ comfort compared to the maximum humidity of 11% in current aircraft.
Korean Air is planning to utilize the aircraft for long-haul routes with high demand for leisure travel. First, the airline is scheduled to launch domestic flights between Seoul’s Gimpo Airport and JeJu Airport for a month as part of the required certification period, before launching long-haul international routes from Seoul’s Incheon Airport to Toronto, Madrid, and Zurich later this year. Korean Air’s Boeing 787-9 will be operated with a total of 269 seats; 6 first class seats, 18 Prestige class seats and 245 Economy class seats.
Improved Passenger Experience
The interior design of the Dreamliner cabin is quite different from conventional aircraft. The “Premium Cabin Interior” uses the latest LED lighting technology to adjust the color and brightness of lighting based on time and environment. It has five different modes: for take-off, dining, sunset/sunrise, sleeping, and landing. The modes will create a more comfortable atmosphere for passengers.
Another noteworthy feature is the size of the cabin windows: they are 78% larger than conventional aircraft, allowing passengers to have a better outside view. The manually operated window covers are gone and instead there are buttons to adjust the transparency of the windows in five different levels. A specially developed gel has been inserted within the windowpanes to control the transparency.
Dreamliner is famous for being the first commercial airplane with composite materials in most of its airframe components. The aircraft is made of 50% carbon fiber composites along with aluminum alloys for a reduced weight and greater durability, thereby consuming 20 percent less fuel and generating 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplane it replaces. For this reason, it is fair to label the Dreamliner an eco-friendly aircraft.
Each component of the aircraft has been designed to be environmentally friendly. Its particular wing design – known as “raked wingtips” – is aimed at increasing the aerodynamics and thus the fuel efficiency. The engine uses a new technology for the cowl that covers the engine, which significantly decreases noise from the engine slipstream – again increasing the comfort of passengers. Another notable technology found on the Dreamliner is a system that automatically detects whenever the plane encounters turbulence and adjusts the flight status to reduce sudden cabin movements.
A remarkable fact is that Korean Air’s Aerospace Division is a Boeing partner on the 787 program, suppling components for the Dreamliner. Since 2006, the carrier’s Aerospace Division has been manufacturing six core parts, such as raked wing tips, after bodies and flap support fairing, for the Dreamliner. Korean Air is also the partner on the 747-8 programs and one of two suppliers producing the new 737 MAX Advanced Technology Winglet.
Korean Air is scheduled to introduce five 787-9 Dreamliners to its fleet this year, with another five joining the fleet by 2019.