First flight of Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The first flight of Boeing’s new-generation 787 Dreamliner long-range widebody twinjet was a complete success. The Dreamliner took off for the first time on Tuesday, December 15 near the company’s plant in Everett, Washington, near Seattle. During its 3-hour flight, the aircraft delivered its announced outstanding performance, in large part due to a highly innovative design that makes extensive use of composite materials.

The Safran group is one of Europe's leading partners in the 787 program, making a significant contribution to its engines (via Snecma), landing systems (Messier-Dowty, Messier-Bugatti), wiring (Labinal) and electronics (Sagem, Hispano-Suiza).

Safran has an 8% stake in the aircraft's propulsion system, as supplier of the fan blades, booster and Fadec (full authority digital engine control) on General Electric's GEnx engine.

World first

Safran has contributed a number of technological innovations to this aircraft, which features an all-composite fuselage. For instance, Messier-Dowty designed the technically advanced main and nose landing gear, with innovations such as composite struts – a world first. The other major innovation is the use of electric brakes, a technology developed by Messier-Bugatti. Designed for the "most electric" airplane on the market, this brake technology offers reduced weight, greater robustness and more economical operation.

The electrical connection systems, developed specifically for the 787 by Labinal and installed by its American subsidiary, offer unprecedented weight savings.