The rollout of the first 787 is only 46 days away, and I can’t wait. Really, what I’m excited about is flying on one, but the rollout obviously has to come first. As we get closer to seeing the plane for the first time, I keep learning more about why this plane is so cool.
That latest? The vertical gust suppression system.
Oh yeah, it sounds fancy. Actually, it IS fancy. It’s a system that actually reduces the turbulence you’ll feel while in flight. James Wallace over at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer had the opportunity to ride in a simulator once with and once without the system activated. You can find his report online here. Here’s a brief snippet to pique your interest.
Mike Sinnett, chief project engineer for 787 systems, said Boeing can’t reveal all the details about how the vertical gust suppression system works. It involves the plane’s entire “air data package,” he said. That includes sensors embedded in the composite skin of the Dreamliner that will detect tiny changes in pressure caused by wind gusts. The jet’s flight-control system automatically will make adjustments to smooth out the ride before the plane gets bounced around.
Boeing’s 777 has a gust-suppression system that reduces side-to-side motion, but it does not dampen the up-and-down motion of the plane during turbulence. The 787 system will dampen these motions by as much as 60 percent to 70 percent.