June 15, 2011
Several engineering milestones during 100 years of aviation history are recalled as the development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is chronicled. With the first exterior fuselage made from composite carbon material, the fuel-efficient 787 presents its own unique engineering demands. Boeing’s chief test pilot provides narration as the manufacturing and financial challenges of the massive project are presented. The vital role of computer animation in aerodynamic design is demonstrated, and the first test flight is delayed six months to minimize wing stress in the final construction. The flight patterns of bees are animated to provide insight into the dynamics of flight. The chief test pilot states that the 787 Dreamliner represents a developmental milestone in improving fuel efficiency.