United lands 787 Dreamliner’s first flight Sunday at O’Hare
United Airlines landed its inaugural flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Chicago O’Hare on Sunday morning to the cheers of passengers, which included many aviation enthusiasts who took the flight just to say they were there.
The twin-aisle plane, delayed more than three years by production problems at Boeing, is said to be far more fuel efficient and less costly to maintain for airlines, while offering a new level of comfort for passengers. Half of the plane is made of strong and light composite materials, including the fuselage and wings, instead of metal.
“If you want to be the world’s leading airline, you need the world’s leading airplane, and this is it,” said CEO Jeff Smisek. Smisek said he hadn’t flown on a 787 until Sunday’s flight from Houston to Chicago. “It been a long haul to get here,” he said. United is the first North American airline to receive a 787, and Sunday marked its first commercial flight of the craft.
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