|With the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing is using a new approach to design which takes into greater account the cost to maintain airplane structure and systems over their lifetimes. As a result of this approach, the basic 787-8 airplane will have 30 percent lower airframe maintenance costs than any comparable product and will be available for revenue service more often than any other commercial airplane.|
|THE 787 DREAMLINER TAKES ADVANTAGE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO INCREASE RELIABILITY AND IMPROVE MAINTAINABILITY.||by Justin Hale,
787 Deputy Chief Mechanic
The Boeing 787 program has consciously designed in new, state-of-the-art features and performance that reduce cost and increase airplane availability. These features will lead to additional savings and greater revenue for Boeing customers. The 787 reflects a new life-cycle design philosophy that has dictated some significant changes in the way the airplane will be built. These changes include extensive use of composites in the airframe and primary structure, an electric systems architecture, a reliable and maintainable design, and an improved maintenance program. Taken together, these changes will offer customers a guaranteed reduction in maintenance costs.
LIFE-CYCLE COST DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
The life-cycle cost approach to design looks at the total cost picture for design options by examining all of the factors that affect an airplane over its lifetime. Traditionally, the value of a given design solution has been measured using factors such as:
- Noise (cabin and community)
- Schedule reliability
- Development cost
- Build cost
Using these measures to compare design options helps determine the optimum choice.
With the 787, Boeing has expanded the life-cycle design approach by adding two unique performance measures: maintenance cost and airplane availability. Clearly, looking at the cost to maintain systems over their lifetimes becomes a significant factor when attempting to understand the total effect of a design decision on an operatorís cost structure. Airplane availability includes not only schedule reliability but also other factors such as the length of time an airplane must be out-ofservice when maintenance is required. Obviously, taking an airplane out of service for two days has a much bigger effect on operator revenue than taking it out of service for two hours.