Visitors to the Dreamliner Gallery – a centre where 787 customers can design the interior of their new purchases – are promised that “stress and daily pressures” will “slip away” in the snazzy and mood-lit space.
Once there, they can go about picking everything from the lighting they want in the cabin to whether the toilet has a window. Rather than flicking through a brochure, customers can make decisions based on life-size replica models of the cabin as well as the different options across interior lighting, seating, toilets and the kitchen area.
The effort Boeing put into creating the Dreamliner Gallery reflects its desire to create a standout passenger experience with the 787. When it began designing the 787 in 2004 it worked with universities around the world to investigate how factors such as altitude, humidity, air contaminants, lighting, sound and space affect passengers. It studied how these variables could be tweaked to help improve the flying experience:
Ride: Passengers give higher ratings to flights without turbulence. Sensors on the 787 are designed to counter the affect of turbulence and help maintain a smooth ride throughout the flight, helping reduce nausea for those prone to motion sickness.
Sound: More focus has been given to both the level and quality of noise within the cabin after studies showed noise could contribute to a passenger’s sense of fatigue. The 787 is designed to have lower noise both inside and outside the cabin, making it quieter for passengers, communities and ground crews.
Lighting: Boeing engineers donned glasses that imitated what it was like to see with a cataract to get a feel for interior lighting and ensure the 787’s cabin is the lightest in its class. It is also the first commercial plane with complete LED cabin lighting. Boeing says the lighting helps to create a feeling of space for passengers.
Windows: Boeing surveyed passengers on their reactions to different window options with a mock-up of different sizes, shapes and positions. The results showed passengers preferred larger windows. The 787 has the largest windows of any commercial plane, giving passengers a commanding view of the horizon. Instead of plastic blinds, the level of lighting through the windows is controlled by a special gel.