On a sunny Wednesday morning, KLM welcomed its 10th Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at Schiphol. Because I really wanted to see this new addition close up, I got out of bed bright and early to witness its arrival and compile a full report. Here’s what I learned.
A 10-hour flight (well, almost)
The new arrival took off from the Boeing plant at Everett (near Seattle, USA) and landed at Schiphol at 08.00 on Wednesday, 23 August. The flight lasted just over nine hours, but let’s call it 10, so that it matches our 10th Dreamliner.
KLM is one of the few airlines that gives its aircraft names. All of KLM’s Dreamliners are named after flowers, which are a typical Dutch export product. Our 10th Dreamliner is called Margriet in Dutch, as you can see on the left flank of the plane. You’ll find its English name, Marguerite, on the other side. Our other Dreamliners have names like Sunflower, Jasmine, Lavender and Lily. Here’s a previous blog about the naming of KLM planes.
1,000 hours of entertainment
Aboard our intercontinental flights, passengers have access to no less than 1,000 hours of interactive entertainment. Should you ever wonder what’s under the hump on a Dreamliner’s back, that’s the antenna for the Wi-Fi signal, ensuring that passengers can be online 24/7. But who needs the internet when you have so many hours of film, music and games on board, right?
The Dreamliner has 10 wheels: two under the nose and four on either side under the wings. These ten wheels carry the entire weight of the plane, which can be up to 252,650 kilos. Hope you don’t find all these facts too “tiring”…
There are three types of 787; the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10. Say that 10 times in quick succession! The 787-8 is the shortest type and the 787-10 is the longest, while the 787-9 is somewhere in between. KLM currently only operates 787-9, but we will begin adding 787-10s to our fleet from June 2019, enabling us to carry more passengers and cargo.
Engines at 10 kilometres
The Dreamliner has 20-30% less environmental impact than comparable aircraft. Because of the carbon composites used in construction, the Dreamliner is lighter, which means it burns less fuel and produces fewer emissions. The same goes for the engines. Less fuel = lower emissions = less environmental impact. But the engines produce more than enough thrust to propel the Dreamliner to a cruising speed of 910 kilometres per hour at an altitude of 10 kilometres.
You may also notice the “shark’s teeth” at the back of the engine, which not only look cool, but also help to reduce engine noise. These chevrons, as they are officially called, also ensure that there is less noise aboard the aircraft, thus ensuring greater comfort.
50, 40, 30, 20, 10, touch down!
The cockpit has futuristic heads-up display, which is a transparent screen giving pilots the most essential flight data as they look out of the cockpit window. This is especially handy during take-off and landing, when the pilots have to keep their eye on everything at once.
Our first Dreamliner arrived in November 2015. The 11th is scheduled to arrive in January 2018.
That concludes my report. I hope you enjoyed playing “Spot-The-10s”. That said, I give the Dreamliner a rating of 10 out of 10!