Flying is never fun—cramped seats, long lines, bad food—but even with all of the downsides, the future of flying is starting to look a little less dull. Boeing recently rolled out its long-awaited 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which reportedly uses 20 percent less fuel than similar-sized airplanes.
And for the environment, it’s better late than never. After taking three years longer in manufacturing than originally predicted, Boeing delivered its first Dreamliner to Japanese airline, All Nippon Airways, in late September. The $200 million jet boasts new high-tech GE and Rolls-Royce engines, which represent a two generation jump in engine technology—the main factor for its top notch fuel efficiency.
Half of the plane’s primary structure, including the fuselage and wings, are made up of composite materials. With its more efficient fuel use and lightweight structural composition, the mid-sized plane is capable of longer-range, non-stop flights.
Although flight time is a main contributor to an individual’s carbon footprint, the new Boeing Dreamliner allows travelers to be more cognizant of their environmental impact and further the push for more sustainable travel options.
Since the Boeing Dreamliner program was launched in 2004, customers across six continents have placed 821 airplane orders. Here’s hoping we’ll all be flying on one soon.