Boeing unveiled its lightweight, carbon-composite 787 Dreamliner on Sunday in front of 15,000 cheering employees, customers and suppliers, capping a weekend of hype and a flurry of orders for the new fuel-efficient plane.
The elaborate unveiling ceremony, at the company's Everett, Washington plant, gave the crowds their first full look at the mid-sized, long-range jetliner, which has sold well early on and is Boeing's first all-new plane in 12 years.
Thousands more watched the event -- hosted by former TV news anchor Tom Brokaw -- live at Qwest Field stadium in nearby Seattle, and Boeing broadcast the ceremony worldwide on satellite television.
The jet, pulled into the main doors of Boeing's plant, did not look radically new on the outside. But beneath the just-dried paint lies a structure made up of 50% carbon composite materials and another 15% titanium, making it much lighter and fuel efficient than existing jetliners of
the same size.
The use of fatigue-resistant and rust-free composite materials means air in the cabin can be more humid, leaving passengers less dried out and jetlagged after a long flight.