You'll see plenty of photos of the Boeing 787 today as launch customer ANA takes delivery of its first Dreamliner, but here's one part of the next-generation jetliner that you won't see – and nor will passengers on the 50+ airlines, including Qantas, which have signed on the dotted line for 50 Dreamliners beginning in 2013.
This is the funky 'loft' space used by pilots and flight attendants during their scheduled breaks from duty.
On most conventional aircraft the crew use regular seats or a variety of private rest areas, but as Boeing regional director Kent Craver observes, "anything you can do to get non-revenue bodies out of revenue seats is a benefit for airlines".
Besides which, Craver admits, "I've never found a passengers that's comfortable seeing a pilot sleeping!".
Boeing's solution for the 787 Dreamliner was to create a 'loft' space above the main cabin, accessible by a small ladder.
Here's a cut-away diagram showing how this space nestles above passenger seats and the overhead bins.
The 787 can have two rest areas, although neither is standard fitout on the Dreamliner.
A rest area dedicated to the pilots is located just behind the cockpit and sports one seat and two bunk spaces (below).
The crew's snooze zone is at the rear, with six bunks.
These admittedly 'close quarters' are not recommended if you suffer from claustrophobia (we felt uncomfortably confined after just spending just a few minutes spent in the loft space!) but you have to admit, it's a very cool and potentially shagadelic space!
We can't help but wonder how long before an airline asks Boeing if they can install more of these bunks and start selling them to passengers as a space for group travel and private parties?
Also in AusBT's Boeing 787 Dreamliner coverage:
- Boeing chooses Android for 787 Dreamliner's entertainment system
- Qantas does the 787 shuffle
- United aims for first Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights by mid-2012
- Flying in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner: first real-life video
- Photos & video: Inside the first ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.