Boeing has given its newest airplane, the 7E7 Dreamliner, an official model designation number of 787. The airplane now will be known as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
“We used 7E7 to highlight the airplane’s dramatic efficiency advantages,” said Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “All those advantages and more continue with this official model designation for the airplane .”
Since the naming of the initial 707, all Boeing commercial jets have been named in succession based on the 7-7 formula: 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 up to the latest Boeing commercial jet transport, the 787.
The model designation comes at the same time the company announced orders from the Peoples’ Republic of China for 60 of the airplanes. The airplanes would be delivered to six Chinese carriers—Air China , China Eastern, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Shanghai Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.
“Incorporating the 8 at the time of the China order is also significant because in many Asian cultures the number 8 represents good luck and prosperity,” said Mulally.
Tradition at Boeing has been that airplanes in development are given a letter designation and at time of launch are given a number. The 757 started life as the 7N7, for instance. The 767 was the 7X7 and the 777 was the 767-X.