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AERO - E-Enabled Capabilities of the 787 Dreamliner

The 787 Dreamliner, the world’s first e-Enabled commercial airplane, combines the power of integrated information and communications systems to drive operational efficiency, enhance revenue, and streamline airplane maintenance.

By Kevin Gosling, Manager,
787 e-Enabling Implementation and Deployment

The e-Enabled tools on the 787 will be a dramatic change from any other commercial airplane previously operated (see fig. 1).

Figure 1: 787 e-Enabling equipment locations
The 787 incorporates a number of e-Enabled systems, many of which are being implemented for the first time on a commercial airplane.

Wired Ethernet Ports
Flight Deck and Both EE Bays
Terminal Wireless
Local Area Network Unit
Video Surveillance
Electronic Flight
Bag Displays
Figure 1 - Article 5
Crew Wireless
Local Area Network Units
Core Network
Electronic Flight Bag Servers
Graphics Printer

These tools promise to change the flow of information and create a new level of situational awareness that airlines can use to improve operations. At the same time, the extensive e-Enabling on the 787 increases the need for network connectivity, hardware and software improvements, and systems management practices (see fig. 2).

Figure 2: E-Enabled airplane systems
In order to prepare for the new 787 e-Enabled airborne systems, airlines will set up interfacing e-Enabled systems on the ground with Boeing assistance.


  • Terminal Wireless Local Area Network Unit (Basic)
  • Crew Wireless Local Area Network Units (Optional)
  • Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting
    System (ACARS) and Very High Frequency (VHF)
    Data Link Mode 2 (Basic)
  • Provisions for Broadband Satelite Communcations

Advanced Technology Flight Deck

  • Fewer Line Replacable Units
  • More Software
  • Upgradeable
  • Configurable

Class 3 Electronic Flight Bag Applications (Basic)

  • Electronic Logbook
  • Onboard Performance Tool
  • Electronic Document Browser

Video Surveillance (Optional)

Wireless Capabilities

  • Wireless Software (Loadable Software Airplane Part) Staging
  • Wireless Downlinks (e.g., Engine Health Monitoring, Airplane Condition Monitoring, Continous Parameter Logging, Configuration Management, etc.)
  • Wireless Maintenance Access

Core Network (Basic)

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