Boeing changes flying experience starting with design, production

SEATTLE, Wash. (WCSC) - Most people don't give a thought to hard seats when they are sitting for hours at Joe Riley Park, but it's a whole different ballgame when you are sitting on an airplane.

Boeing has made it a goal to change how you feel when you step on its new airplane, the 787 Dreamliner, which will be built in North Charleston.

Humans in general are fascinated with flight, but some don't like to fly. As kids, we believe flying is fun and even magical. So, Boeing's goal was to reconnect us to the magic and wonder of flight, which is a tough job, especially after we have tangled with traffic, parking and security.

"By the time passengers get to the product that we Boeing build, they're in the middle of one of the worst days they've had all year," says Kent Craver with Boeing's Passenger Satisfaction and Revenue Department.

Craver says Boeing hired a psychologist and cultural anthropologist to figure out how to leave all that hassle behind.

All of the research culminated in the 787 interior," Craver said. "A brand new airplane with brand new materials that allowed us to do a lot of things that we couldn't do on a metal or traditional airplane."

Part of the psychology in the design of the Dreamliner is coming from the smaller jet way, entering through a lower door. To the sweeping expanses of the Dreamliner, making you have a great feeling about getting on an airplane. They call it an architectural welcome.

Then, there is architectural lighting which is blue for boarding because the natural place for flight is in the sky. All the colors of the sky can be recreated with this light. Boeing worked with universities on this concept. Brain scans determined which colors made passengers feel comfortable and calm

"You're pretty frazzled so we want to be on board comfortable and we want it to be a good experience," Craver said.

Lighting sets the mood and the Dreamliner is the first plane to have this full spectrum.

"There's lot of trade secrets wrapped up into our lighting system," Craver said.

According to Boeing, it's no secret that passengers are expected to feel better after flying on the 787.  The composite material the plane is made of allows the cabin to be pumped up to a higher pressure.

"And that brings the cabin to a lower altitude so the people can absorb more oxygen, they won't feel so tired, we can increase the humidity level so they don't dry out so much," Craver said.

Combine a new filtration system and a smooth ride technology; passengers are less likely to feel motion sick.

"Passengers probably won't know why, but they're going to say 'Wow, I feel a whole lot better than I typically do on a trip,' " Craver said.

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