With fans and fanfare, Boeing unveils new fuel-efficient aircraft

Yesterday, Boeing unveiled a new fuel-efficient airplane to a crowd of more than 15,000 workers and onlookers, as tens of thousands more watched by satellite. The 787 Dreamliner — nicknamed the “greenliner” — boasts a body that’s half carbon-fiber composite; because the material is lighter than the traditional aluminum, the aircraft will use 20 percent less fuel than similarly sized planes, says the company. According to Jeff Hawk, who oversees environmental efforts for the model, the 787 consumes about one gallon of fuel per seat per 100 miles of travel — “less than a typical sedan, and a half to a third the fuel consumption of an SUV.” Let’s see, multiply that by 250 passengers traveling the 787’s range of 9,400 miles, and … oh, never mind. Boeing has already received nearly 700 orders for the plane from global airlines eager to green their image. Said a rep from the U.K.’s First Choice Airways, “The 787 has become a large part of our commitment to trying to help the environment.”