I was fortunate to have toured Air Canada’s newest aircraft, the 787 “Dreamliner“, in between flights recently at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and was impressed by the comfort and features of this advanced aircraft.

When the Dreamliner concept was announced in 2003 it was a radical departure both from Boeing’s 747 Jumbo Jet design and rival Airbus A380 “Super Jumbo” as it was a smaller, midsize twinjet aircraft with innovative design elements such as the extensive use of composite materials such as layered carbon fibre in the wings which help deliver a 20% fuel reduction over Boeing older 767 model. A smaller midsize aircraft that would allow airlines to open up point-to-point routes instead of relying on the “hub-and-spoke” model has, it turns out, been proven correct in the last 15 years as the future of the A380 is uncertain according to recent news articles such as this one in Forbes as  demand for really big airplanes plummets.

Incorporated into the pioneering design of the Dreamliner is passenger-friendly features such as larger windows, less cabin pressurization and higher cabin humidity which help reduce the effects of jetlag.

The Air Canada aircraft I toured is a Boeing 787-900 model deliver to the airline in May 2017 and painted in the newest livery with a more black, white and red colour scheme in contrast to the more minty green colour of the Boeing 777 in the background.

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While far from spacious the cockpit of the Dreamliner is by comparison larger than the Boeing 747 cockpit I’ve visited on a few occasions.

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Air Canada has configured the 787 with 247 seats in Economy, 21 in Premium Economy and 30 in International Business Class.

The Executive Pods feature an 18-inch touch-screen, large stowaway tray table, power ports for electronic devices and lie-flat bed that stretches out to 6 feet 7 inches in length.

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Premium Economy is in its own separate cabin behind International Business Class and offering passengers an upgraded flying experience with wider seats by 2 inches,  greater seat pitch (the distance between rows of seats) by 8 inches and an extra 2 inches in seat recline than Economy seats.  Other Premium Economy perks include an 11-inch touchscreen TV, power ports for portable devices in each seat, amenity kits and boarding in Zone 2 ahead Economy passengers. Depending upon airfares at times the upgrade in price to Premium Economy is relatively small making it a great value for the extra in-flight creature comforts.


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Take in the Dreamliner economy cabin in 360 degree view but note it only works in newer browsers such as Google Chrome.

All windows on the Dreamliner are 40% larger than the average aircraft window and don’t have the normal plastic window shades but are instead dimmed electronically using a button below the window.

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One advantage of these high-tech windows is the flight attendants can control the dimming leaving the cabin dark during overnight flights and preventing any  one passenger from affecting others by leaving their window shade up allowing light to flood in.

For those more interested in the engineering of the Dreamliner and other aircraft windows there’s an excellent video by Real Engineering.

Those of us on the tour stepped around groomers who were readying the plane for its next overseas flight and so I stepped out onto the catering truck to snap this picture of the Dreamliner’s “shark fin” tail with the familiar Air Canada red  Rondelle logo.

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The Air Canada sponsored tour of the Dreamliner was very much appreciated as I was able to try out the hard product like seats but also peek into areas normally off limits to the flying public like the cockpit and pilot rest cabin and see this aircraft from many different angles.

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