Flying on a Plane You Designed

Those who have read some of my previous articles here, know that in my first job, I was a design engineer on the Boeing 787. Since going into mass production, I've been wanting to fly this beauty. Finally this week gave me that chance, and although United doesn't have the best business class product, I am happy I chose the window seat.

Seeing the wing flex upon takeoff was incredible. Engines are massive looking out of the window, and boy what a quiet ride. This was also my first experience in business class, I wouldn't have changed that it happened on this aircraft and let me say, this is the way to fly, more on that portion later.

Boeing since the day I joined the team has been touting the lower altitude cabin pressurization, the higher in cabin humidity and mood lighting that is designed to leave you less jet lagged... so did it work? No idea on this one, I was still tired afterwards because the flight was only 9 hours. Factoring in dinner service on either end, I really only had about 3-4 hours of sleep, don't get me wrong, this was amazing since I don't sleep in economy at all. Either way, 4 hours of sleep just isn't enough for me, so I would have been tired either way. That being the case, it's hard to tell if the cabin changes helped.

Big windows are amazing, another feature of the carbon fiber, big windows can be added. As someone who stares out the windows all the time, much appreciated. Windows have another feature that gets mixed reviews, the way they shade against the sun. The 787 uses electric window tinting, you can control the window tint with a button. While this feature is super cool, I do have to agree that it wasn't a great design choice. I did wake up to the sun lighting up my seat pretty well. While the shading blocks a huge portion of the light and keeps the cabin fairly dark, when the sun is up, it will still come into the cabin somewhat.

Really the window shades are the only complaint I had, otherwise I have to say that I'm proud to have been a part of the design team that put this beauty together. I have at least 2 more trips this year on 787's and I am looking forward to it.