After years of delays, the aircraft Boeing says is the future of aviation made its first commercial flight today, reports the BBC. The 787 Dreamliner, the first jet largely built from lightweight carbon-composite materials, took off on a chartered flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong for All Nippon Airways, the first airline to own a 787. More than 25,000 people scrambled online for tickets on the 264-seat aircraft as soon as they went on sale.
While the new plane isn't any faster than its rivals, Boeing says that the lightweight design not only cuts fuel costs by around 20%, it allows changes that provide greater passenger comfort, including bigger windows, a wider cabin, and higher cabin pressure. Having higher cabin pressure levels "means standing on top of a hill rather than a mountain,’’ an aerospace analyst tells the Sydney Morning Herald. ‘‘That should reduce effects like fatigue when flying." Click here for a tour of the Dreamliner. (Read more aviation stories.)