Thu, Dec 16, 2004
Report: It'll Be Retitled "787"
There is something to be said for tradition. Every new
commercial jet that Boeing has rolled out -- all the way back to
the 707 -- has had one thing in common: Its designation begins and
ends with a seven and there's a number in the middle.
That was the case until Boeing's commercial division came up
with the 7E7. Now, it appears the "E" will be replaced with an "8"
-- and the reason may have nothing at all to do with tradition.
Instead, this could be a marketing move.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports any change in what we
call the Dreamliner won't come until a very important meeting
between commercial airplanes boss Alan Mulally and a group
representing China's airlines. Consider for a moment, the number
"8." It's considered very luck in China. VERY lucky. Vanity license
plates don't feature a favorite cause or an alma mater. It features
a number that ends in... you guessed it... 8.
If you need any further convincing, consider the 2008 Olympics,
which will be held in Beijing. They'll begin promptly at 8pm on
Get the picture?
Then again, the worldwide effort to market the 7E7 has been
pretty successful and there are rumblings that the designation
might never be changed. But when you're looking for launch
customers and remembering tradition, eight may just be Boeing's
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