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Behind the scenes of Boeing's Dreamliner project (photos)

New book showcases the entire development of Boeing's oft-delayed 787 Dreamliner with stunning imagery.

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Daniel Terdiman
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1 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

787s coming down the assembly line

If you've got an aviation fan in the family, or anyone who is particularly interested in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, a new book by Edgar Turner, in my opinion, is a must-get this holiday season. Turner, a Boeing photographer, spent several years meticulously documenting the making of the 787, and his new book, "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" is a candy store's worth of stunning images from throughout the new airplane's long--and admittedly, much delayed-development process. Filled with hundreds of fantastic never seen images and which could only be taken by someone on the inside, the book illustrates the process as never before.

Seen here are four 787s on the assembly line at Boeing's Everett, Wash., plant.

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2 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

787 in flight

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner flying a test flight. The airplane--which is expected to be delivered commercially in 2011--is made from 50 percent composites, 20 percent aluminum, 15 percent titanium, 10 percent steel, and 5 percent other materials. It is expected to offer airlines up to a 20 percent reduction in fuel burn thanks to the composite materials.
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3 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

Slipcase

The slipcase design for "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" features this stylized photograph of the airplane's engine.
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4 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

Book cover

The cover of Edgar Turner's "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner," which calls to mind the weaving of the composite material used in the airplane.
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5 of 30 Boeing

787 over mountain

In this image, a 787 Dreamliner flies for the first time with a General Electric GEnx engine, on June 16, 2010. According to Boeing, "The GEnx engine is the second of two engine types offered to customers on the 787 Dreamliner. [Other 787s] already in the flight test fleet are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines."
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6 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

787 radome

According to the book, the "radome of the 787 is intricately designed to protect the radar while allowing the radar to operate at maximum capability."
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7 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

Nose section

The 787's nose section, as seen on one of the airplanes at Boeing's Everett, Wash. assembly facility.
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8 of 30 Boeing

Nose construction

A look from below into the interior of the nose construction of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
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9 of 30 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

First flight

On Dec. 15, 2009, after several years of delays, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner finally made its first flight. Thousands of Boeing employees, aviation fans, and members of the media, attended the event at Paine Field in Everett, Wash.
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10 of 30 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

First flight with trail plane

As Boeing's first 787 Dreamliner takes off for the first time, its trail plane streaks by.
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11 of 30 Boeing

Interior under construction

A look inside the interior of an under-construction Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
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12 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

787 on tarmac

Boeing's first 787 Dreamliner rolls along the tarmac at the company's Everett, Wash., assembly facility.
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13 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

Horizontal stabilizers joined with tail cone

According to the book, "the horizontal stabilizers and tail cone are joined in the pre-integration so that when they arrive at the next position, they can be joined efficiently to the aft section of the airplane."
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14 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

Overhead of assembly line

A look down the 787 assembly line from above.
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15 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine

In this image from the book, "A Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine is the first to power a 787 Dreamliner flight test over the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington State."
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16 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

Raked wing tip

Here, Turner offers a look at the 787's raked wing tip.
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17 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

Spacious interior

As Turner wrote in the book, "With its spacious entryway, newly designed bin latches, and bigger overhead bins, the 787's design will improve passengers' comfort significantly."
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18 of 30 From "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner" by Edgar Turner

Behind the engine

A view of the 787's left engine from behind.
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19 of 30 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Rear view of engine

At its official roll-out event, the 787's engine is admired by Boeing employees and other aviation fans alike.
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20 of 30 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Curved wingtip

At the 787's official public roll-out, on July 8, 2007 (07/08/07), the plane's signature curved wing is visible from below.
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21 of 30 Boeing

787 mock-up

A mock-up of the interior of the 787 Dreamliner.
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22 of 30 Kent German/CNET

Crew quarters mock-up

A view of a mock-up 787 crew quarters, where six crew can rest during flight, as seen at the Dreamliner Gallery, where Boeing shows customers the different options they can choose for their 787s.
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23 of 30 Kent German/CNET

Cockpit mockup

A mock-up of the 787 Dreamliner's cockpit, as seen at the Dreamliner Gallery in Everett, Wash.
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24 of 30 Boeing

Loading up the Dreamlifter

To transport sections of the 787's fuselage, Boeing built a series of specially-designed 747-400s. The huge airplanes are known as the Dreamlifters, and here, we see sections of 787 fuselage being loaded onto a Dreamlifter.
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25 of 30 Boeing

Dreamlifter under construction

Here, we see one of the specially made Dreamlifter 747s under construction. All told, Boeing has five of the planes, which were designed to transport large sections of the 787's fuselage.
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26 of 30 Boeing

Flight training

According to Boeing, the aviation giant's Training & Flight Services "has started 787 Dreamliner flight certification training following the provisional approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for Boeing's Seattle-based 787 flight training devices. As part of flight training, pilots train on a 787 flat panel training device and a 787 full-flight simulator."
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27 of 30 Boeing

787 trainer

A 787 full-flight simulator, manufactured by Thales.
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28 of 30 Boeing

Extreme weather testing

Seen here, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner "is in Valparaiso, Fla., at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base for a series of extreme-weather tests. The airplane is in a special hangar where it is being tested in extreme-cold temperatures, minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 43 Celsius). Hot-weather testing at 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius) will be conducted in the same facility in the days ahead."
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29 of 30 Boeing

787-9 configuration

This Boeing image shows what a stretch version of the 787 Dreamliner, known as the 787-9, will look like.
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30 of 30 Boeing

Into the sunset

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner flying into the sunset on a test flight.

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