EVERETT – The Boeing Co. tried to keep all its passengers in mind when designing the interior of its new 787 Dreamliner.
“We analyzed accessibility issues passengers face on today’s airplanes and incorporated advancements to better accommodate passengers of all ages and capabilities,” said Mike Bair, vice president and general manager of the 787 program.
Inside Boeing’s Dreamliner, passengers with disabilities will have an easier time getting around compared to jets of similar size. Boeing partnered with the National Center for Accessible Transportation at Oregon State University to research accessibility improvements.
As part of the research, Boeing engineers who design interiors were placed in simulated environments to better understand accessibility issues faced by persons with mobility, sensory and cognitive disabilities. In addition, the team worked with individuals with these disabilities to verify improvements.
Boeing says its 787 plane provides larger windows, bigger bins and better cabin pressure and air quality than other jets its size. With 490 firm orders from 38 customers, the Dreamliner is Boeing’s fastest-selling airplane. The 787 is scheduled to take its first flight in August.
Boeing is offering two wheelchair-accessible lavatories on the Dreamliner, each with significant advancements. The 56-inch-wide lavatory repositions the entryway door and toilet to provide extra usable space and makes it easier for passengers to reach and use the facilities. A convertible lavatory includes a movable center wall that allows two separate lavatories to become one large, wheelchair-accessible facility.
All lavatories aboard the 787 Dreamliner feature universally designed interior and exterior door handles that are more intuitive and enable easier access by passengers with limited hand agility. Assist-handles installed in all lavatories are easier to grip and offer passengers better stability through improved design and location.
“Boeing is making an ongoing effort to identify opportunities to improve the flying experience,” said Bair. “The 787 Dreamliner will set a new industry standard for accessibility on airplanes.”