After three years and billions of dollars in delays, Boeing has finally delivered its first 787 Dreamliner, which is touted as ushering in a new era of flying.
With the hundreds of people who built the plane watching, Boeing handed over a ceremonial key to the plane to its first customer, Japan's All Nippon Airways. The plane took off on Tuesday for Tokyo and will be put into service on October 26.
"We were all choking up a little bit. I am just so happy to see the airplane in the hands of the customer. It makes me proud of our teams," Dan Mooney, vice president of 787-8 development, said after the take-off.
The Daily Mail reports that the plane is the first large-scale commercial aircraft made using 50% composite materials including plastics and carbon fiber, which could bring an end to the so called "aluminum age" of airplane building.
For passengers, the plane is much quieter than traditional aircraft, has larger carry-on bins and improved cabin pressure with more humidity so passengers will be "more refreshed" when their trip is over, according to Boeing.
The delivery comes three years late, mainly because so many companies supplied parts for it. The total cost for the project was reported to be $32 billion. A new plane project usually costs closer to $15 billion. Each plane costs about $200 million.
Boeing now has to figure out how to make ten planes per month by the end of 2013. Right now it only produces two Dreamliners per month.