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        The 21st Century Mission: The 787

        Discover how The Boeing Company’s decision to abandon one revolutionary airplane design led to another successful design, in this video from WGBH and The Documentary Group. In 2000, as aerospace manufacturer Boeing considered its next major airplane design, it was fixed on the Sonic Cruiser, a passenger plane that flew near the speed of sound and whose design was unlike any ever seen before. But rising fuel costs and the events of September 11, 2001 prompted the company to revise its plans. Responding to its customers’ needs, Boeing would focus instead on building a plane that operated more economically. To accomplish its goal, Boeing used advanced composite materials, which are lightweight, strong, and durable. In 2009, the 787 Dreamliner—the culmination of Boeing’s efforts and innovation—took to the skies. This resource is part of the Aerospace Engineering collection.

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