If You Want to See a Dreamliner Up Close

By James Fallows

The Atlantic is hosting an "Innovation Summit," next Tuesday, May 8, at the architecturally interesting old Terminal A of DC National Airport. Full details are available on our site.

I have day-job reasons for being at the conference, including doing a Q-and-A with Michael T. Jones, the "Chief Technology Advocate" at Google and a crucial figure in the technology that gave rise to Google Earth. He was also a starring player in my story last year called "Hacked!", about the attack that erased six years' worth of my wife's Gmail archives and what happened next.* After that I'll be moderating a discussion among several smart-grid / clean-energy innovators. And there is a full day of other discussions in store.

But even if I didn't have that motivation, I'd be there for the guided tours of Boeing's new 787 "Dreamliner." Artist's conception of the Dreamliner in action below.

boeing3.jpg

There's lots more on the agenda, examining the real-world prospects for breakthrough innovation in a variety of areas. So if you're interested and in the vicinity, please come by. (Signup info is on the event's web site. ....

... aaannnnd as I look at it just now, I see that space for walk-through tours of the Dreamliner tours has been fully booked. A life lesson on the act-early-and-often front. But you'll still be close to them -- and, no joke, the discussions should be worthwhile.)


While we're on the subject, and to buffer the sadness of the already-booked Dreamliner tours, here's Boeing's idea of the sort of thing that might come next:

futuristic_700.jpg

Hmmm, if only there were some book that explained how Boeing, Airbus, and their aspiring competitors in China were trying to match these new designs to ever-increasing environmental constraints, and what that means for their overall technological potential .... well, that's a subject for a week or two from now. See you at Terminal A of National Airport.

For a little more on aircraft innovations, check this out:



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* I am long overdue for an update on how Gmail and Hotmail are coping with the hacking epidemic, and what users can do (a) to protect themselves in the first place and (b) to recover if they get attacked. That is pending as soon as I can get to it. Thanks to many, many people who have written in with their horror stories, and sometimes their horror-and-salvation tales.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/05/if-you-want-to-see-a-dreamliner-up-close/256374/