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Dreamliner First Thoughts

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Strange as it may seem, the first delivery of a brand new plane is an emotional event.

Yes, I know some of you are reading this and saying, "Oh, give me a break. It's a plane, not a baby." But for thousands of Boeing workers this is their baby.

For many, this is a day they have been working towards for five or six years. It's validation their hard work has paid off.

And to say bringing the Dreamliner from the drawing board to the skies has been hard would be an understatement.

Building a new plane is tough. Building it primarily out of composites (an industry first) while radically re-making the production process is extremely hard.

Too ambitious? You bet.

Even Boeing CEO Jim McNerney admits the company bit off more than it could chew by outsourcing so much of the Dreamliner's production.

Boeing workers have heard the comments ("When is that plane gonna be ready?") and frequent snarky remarks ("It's the seven LATE seven").

So yes, they are relieved the first Dreamliner has been delivered.

They also believe this plane will be a game changer. Are they wrong? No. Not if the 787 delivers the performance Boeing has promised.

So give the Boeing workers a day to celebrate and puff out their chest a bit. They've earned it.

As former Boeing executive and current Ford CEO Alan Mulally will remind people, building a plane with that many parts and that much technology is an amazing feat.

Boeing has only certified and delivered just 11 brand new commercial planes in nearly 100 years. This is one of them.

As Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Jim Albaugh said before turning over the ceremonial keys to the first Dreamliner, "These days don't come along very often. We need to savor it."