NEW YORK (
) -- Last week, we asked the readers of TheStreet whether you thought the
787 Dreamliner would revolutionize the airline industry.
It was a relevant question, given the events of the week. After a successful maiden debut on Dec. 15, the Dreamliner continued to forge ahead with its 10-month flight-test program.
On Dec. 22, a second Dreamliner aircraft completed its first flight, taking off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, and landing at Boeing Field in Seattle two hours later.
The plane was taken to an altitude of 13,000 feet, traveling at about 230 miles per hour. This was the second of six Dreamliner planes that are being tested for full-commercial capability. Each plane will go through a specific set of tests; the second plane was tested for systems performance.
Dreamliner's first delivery has been planned for the fourth quarter of next year, and customers may look forward to extra creature comforts to enjoy on the plane, including a ceiling that "resembles a skylight, complete with blue LED lighting that mimics the sky,"
Although the Dreamliner lost orders after more than two years of delays and a recession, it has received some 840 orders as of the end of last week -- a record for a commercial aircraft at launch, according to
On Tuesday, Boeing said that it purchased Alenia North America's 50% stake in a fuselage subassembly plant for its Dreamliner.
The transaction occurred through a Boeing subsidiary, making Boeing the sole owner of Global Aeronautica. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The facility's workers will become part of Boeing's North Charleston, S.C. operations. Global Aeronautica's plant is adjacent to Boeing's North Charleston site, sharing its 240-acre campus.
Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement that the company anticipates the transaction will boost productivity for its 787 program.
In 2008, Boeing purchased a 50% stake in Global Aeronautica from Vought Aircraft Industries. Global Aeronautica had been a joint venture between Alenia and Vought up until then.
The efforts that Boeing has made to bring the Dreamliner to the public won't only be a game changer for passengers; it could also be a game changer for airline-stock investors, according to TheStreet readers.
More than 67% of those who responded to our poll said that the Dreamliner would be a positive long-term factor for the airline industry.
About 32.9% of readers still feel bearish on the airline industry, feeling that it is too early to get excited over a plane that still needs to perfect itself for commercial aviation.
-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York
Follow TheStreet.com on
and become a fan on
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.