About 300 employees of the newly combined Continental and United Airlines visit the Boeing 787 Dreamliner during the airplane's brief stop in Houston, Texas. Continental and United will be the first U.S. airline to fly the 787.
ZA005, the fifth 787 Dreamliner, made a brief stop at Houston Intercontinental Airport after weeks of flight testing in La Paz, Bolivia. The 787, which uses strong, light-weight carbon composites, will use 20% less fuel than the airplanes it replaces.
The air-craft features a carbon-composite skin. That's the light-weight material that helps the 787 fly farther and use 20% less fuel. It's why Continental ordered 25 of the Dreamliners.
"We banked our future on the aircraft," said Ron Baur, vice president of Fleet Management. "We're big believers of the 787, flying long-length markets. One of the first routes we'll fly is Houston to Auckland and to me this is the poster child for that route."
After a few hours on the ground, the Dreamliner had to depart to return to Seattle for more flight tests. Boeing is intent on wrapping up certification as soon as possible so it can start delivering 787s to great carriers like Continental and United.