The massive giant welcomes you with a breeze of cool air. The 22 stairs seem a little longer than usual. But one step into its mouth, it definitely feels like a dream come true. The cockpit, in keeping with its size, is equally spacious with a larger head space, comfortable seating for pilots, thousands of LCD multi-function displays depicting all the variable and a zillion controls. Its efficiency lies in its new electrical architecture, which replaces bleed air and hydraulic power sources with electrically-powered compressors and pumps.
Another striking feature is that the aircraft’s control, navigation, and communication systems are networked with the passenger cabin’s in-flight internet systems. And as pilot Thomas, dressed in a crisp white shirt, explains the operational procedure of the flight, there is this sudden urge to switch on all the buttons and fly it all by yourself.
Inside, you will also find a small cabin with stairs leading into a cabin resting crew. It looks like nothing less than one of those lounge bars. Then, leading you into the flight is the business class wing. Its interiors remind you of an art gallery with just the right amount of light to make the place cozy and comfortable. The 787-8 is designed to seat 234 passengers in a three-class set up. Its 8-foot ceiling and 17-foot wide cabin make it look like a bungalow compared to an ordinary aircraft. And guess what? There is 30 per cent more space for carry-on luggage, as compared to the 777 model.
The Dreamliner’s windows are much bigger and provide a proper view to the passenger. Thank God that the single sliding windows have now taken a back seat, and the smart-glass windows that dim at the push of a button, have come. Push the button and in seconds, the window will adjust giving you the right feel of the time. The LED lighting inside creates a calm environment and also makes subtle shifts to alert passengers and put them off to sleep. The rainbow-coloured ceiling lights that highlight the interiors during take-off will be a hit among the passengers, as they create a sense of excitement.
While the in-flight entertainment panels are in place with the touchscreen generation, other sleek and smart innovations like holders for cups, which are now separated from the pull-down meal trays, remote-controlled screen operations, and route map of the airplane just make the experience even more adventurous. A walk down further, the economy class also has most of the features, except for the fact that the seats are a little smaller. The reclining feature is so well done that the backside of the seats pushes one forward to go back so that one completely avoids smashing a fellow passenger seated behind. So, as and when our desi airlines get a Dreamliner, never mind the price tag, you won’t regret hopping in.