American Airlines unveiled its newest 787-8 Dreamliner Wednesday morning. It is the first time that employees and journalists have had a chance to view American’s configuration of the aircraft since the Fort Worth-based carrier first took possession of the new fleet type in February.
The aircraft on display Wednesday, N805AN, just flew in to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Tuesday night from Boeing Field in Seattle.
American has configured its 787-8s to carry 226 passengers with 198 in coach and 28 in Business Class. Coach class is configured in a 3-3-3 layout. Besides a television and remote control, each seat back also has an electrical plug.
In Business Class, a bar will be stocked with sandwiches, desserts, and bottles of water for those passengers.
The Dreamliner also has mood lighting and larger windows, but no plastic shades to pull down. Instead, Boeing designed dimmer buttons below the windows to reduce or increase the amount of light that is allowed in the cabin.
American will begin flying the 787 on regular passenger service on May 7 with two daily flights between DFW and Chicago O’Hare.
In June, American will start flying the Dreamliner to Beijing and Buenos Aires.
American has taken possession of four 787s now. Boeing is adding seats and finishing out the interior on two more, the airline said. By the end of the year, American will have 13 of this new fleet type.
Airlines like the 787 Dreamliner because it is more fuel efficient than other similar-sized aircraft. The skin of the Dreamliner is made from a composite material – rather than traditional aluminum – which helps makes the plane lighter.
American got its first 787 in February and pilots have been training on it since then, conducting so-called touch-and-go landings in West Texas, St. Louis, Phoenix and other domestic airports. The airline said its pilots have even flown the 787 to Tokyo, London, and Buenos Aires for flight tests.
American will train about 150 line pilots on the 787 along with the 40 check airmen.