Singapore Airlines was the launch customer for the 787-10, Boeing’s stretch version of the popular Dreamliner series. Singapore Airlines has ordered 49 Dreamliners (all 787-10s) and had received only six as of September 30, 2018. It is the only airline currently operating the model. Singapore Airlines began flying the 787-10 in May 2018. As of the end of 2018, only 10 of these magnificent airplanes were in service worldwide.
787-10 Specifications and Comparisons
Because the 787-10 recently entered service and is currently being flown by only one airline, it is worth reviewing its specifications and comparing them to other aircraft already in service. The 787-10 is 224 feet (68.3m) long. The operating range is 6,430 nautical miles (7,400 statute miles). The 787-10 is 18 feet longer than the 787-9 and 38 feet longer than the 787-8. All 787s have the same height (55 feet, 10 inches), cabin width (216 inches or 550 centimeters), wingspan (197 feet or 60 meters) and .85 mach cruise speed.
In a typical two-class configuration, the 787-10 accommodates 330 passengers while the 787-8 and 787-9 seat 242 and 290 passengers, respectively. Having the same maximum takeoff weight as the 787-9 but with a larger payload of passengers and cargo means the range of the 787-10 is decreased. Its range is approximately 1,400 statute miles less than the 787-9 and 1,000 statute miles less than the 787-8. Cabin width for the 787 is 15 inches more than the A330 and A340, five inches less than the A350 and 16 inches less than the 777.
Singapore Airlines chose Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN (Thrust, Efficiency and New technology) turbofans over General Electric’s GEnx-1Bs to power its 787-10s. Given that Trent 1000 engines are built in Singapore, that choice is not surprising and it probably also explains why Singapore Airlines is the 787-10 launch customer with the biggest order on the books.
The 787-10 was designed to replace the 767-400, 777-200, A330 and A340 and to compete with the A350-900 over which it is said to have a 10% advantage in efficiency on short to medium range routes. Singapore Airlines is deploying the 787-10 as the preferred equipment on regional and medium-range routes.
Posts about other flights, nights, and sights on this around-the-world trip:
Luang Prabang City Tour
I find experiencing a new aircraft for the first time is one of the great joys of flying. Since taking up the miles and points hobby a couple of years ago I’ve managed to be on some personally noteworthy flights such as the first flight of an American Airlines 787-9 (business class), the first flight of Delta Airlines A350-900 N501DN (premium economy), and sampling the vaunted A350-900 DeltaOne Suites and Thai A350-900 (business class) the first week they were in service. I have purchased a ticket to fly on Delta’s A220 the first day it goes into service. That will be a fun flight even though I’m no Delta fan.
I viewed this flight as being in the same category as those other great first-experience trips.
Singapore Airlines Flight SQ982
Route: Singapore (SIN) to Bangkok, Thailand (BKK)
Great Circle Distance: 875 statute miles
Flight Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Equipment: Boeing 787-10
SQ 982 departed from Gate F58 in Terminal 2. SIN is one of the few airports where security is performed at the gate rather than upon entering the terminal. Being prone to running late, I like that arrangement. Most gate agents won’t be cruel enough to shut the door when they can see a passenger going through security at the gate. On the other hand, if you are delayed by security getting into the terminal but haven’t made it to the gate and the agents are ready to close the flight – forget about it.
Boarding began exactly as scheduled at 17:00 using jet bridges attached to the forward two doors on the port side. I was one of the first passengers to board. Boarding went quickly. We pushed back at 17:25.
Business-Class Cabin and Seat
Singapore Airlines’ 787-10 has 36 business-class seats arranged 1-2-1 in rows 11 – 20. Singapore Airlines must be superstitious because it skips row 13. All seats have direct aisle access and recline fully flat. Seats have 60 inches of pitch.
Except for row 12, the even numbered rows in the center section have seats with the console by the aisle. Except for row 11, the odd numbered rows in the center section have consoles between the seats. Center section seats have a privacy panel between the seats. When fully raised, the panel acts as a wall and blocks any view of the passenger in the adjoining seat.
Window seats in even numbered rows, except row 12, have the console by the window. Window seats in odd numbered rows, except row 11, have the console by the aisle.
The economy section has 301 seats arranged 3-3-3 for a total of 337 seats in both cabins. Economy seats are only about 17.4 inches wide. That’s nowhere near the 19 inch width SeatGuru claims. Since this plane will be used for regional service, passengers in economy must endure that configuration for only a few hours.
My seat was 19K, a window seat on the starboard side.
Having the console by the aisle serves as a good buffer and adds to a feeling of privacy. It makes looking out the window easier, too. The console provides a wide flat area for setting personal items or drinks. Seat and lighting controls, the headphone connection, and the A/V remote are mounted on the console in a position that is easily accessible.
Next to the seat is an small enclosed compartment with AC and USB power outlets. A recessed vanity mirror is next to the storage compartment.
There is a small ottoman under the video monitor. Feet extend into a tight space under the console of the seat in front. That is typical for a business-class seat. While a luxury compared to economy seats, that arrangement makes for restricted movement in sleeping and lounging. The only business-class seats I’ve found that avoids this are the 777-300 Apex suites on Korean Air and the 787-9 Apex suites on Japan Airlines. On the regional routes where Singapore Airlines is deploying the 787-10, that shouldn’t be a big problem. It certainly was no issue on the two-hour flight to Bangkok.
The video monitor is positioned directly in front of the seat in a fixed position. It is clear and bright. Singapore Airlines KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system, offers more than 1,800 on-demand entertainment options including movies, TV programmes, CDs, games, and informational applications like destination guides. The system recommends movies based on indicated preferences and viewing history. Members of the KrisFlyer program can even restart films where they left off on a previous flight.
The tray table is large and extends from below the video screen. It is easy to position it in a convenient spot for eating or working.
Reading lights are mounted at eye level. Each light has three brightness levels. Note also the soft, sound-absorbing material that surrounds your head.
Light emitting diodes provide cabin lighting. The LEDs come in three colors plus white.
Of course my favorite part of the 787 are the 19-inch tall, electrically dimmable windows. The dimming effect results from a gel sandwiched between two thin pieces of glass. Turning up an electric current darkens the gel. When the current decreases, the gel lightens. Simple.
For this short flight Singapore Airlines supplied a blanket, pillow and noise-cancelling headsets. The business-class bathrooms were stocked with other personal hygiene items.
After boarding and greetings the flight attendants dispensed hot towels and pre-departure beverages. I had a glass of Charles Heidsieck champagne (Krug and Dom Perignon are reserved for long-haul first class). When taking dinner orders, the flight attendant apologized for not having lobster thermidor. That was my “Book the Cook” order for the Singapore Airlines first-class flight from Seoul. I reconfirmed my preordered entree for this flight, beef tournedos.
The captain announced our flying time and cruise altitudes as we used Taxiway E (Echo) to proceed to the active runway, Runway 20C (Two Zero Center), for a southwesterly takeoff.
Thirty seconds of maximum effort from the Trent 1000s and we were on our way. Takeoff was at 17:39. The runway heading took us over the Singapore Strait with its impressive display of numerous ships preparing to unload and load cargo. A left turn during climbout brought the 787-10 to the Bangkok heading.
Plane Spotting Tips: 787s are distinguished by sawtooth engine nacelles, four-piece windshields with no mask, and raked wingtips (no winglets). The easiest way to tell the difference among the 787 models is by the number of windows between the two forward doors. The 787-8 has one set of widows. The 787-9 and 787-10 have two sets of windows between the doors, but the 787-10 has at least eight or more windows in one of those sets.
A widebody flight with less than two hours flight time would have no meal in the U. S. Singapore Airlines will have none of that. Here is the dinner menu for business class:
Champagne and Wine
Liquor and Cocktails
(Click to enlarge)
(Click to enlarge)
The flight attendants began the beverage and dinner service on the port side at the front. I was sitting on the starboard side at the back. They got to me about 30 minutes after takeoff.
On this short flight all three courses were served at the same time.
Singapore Airlines is noted for service. In this case not so much. In addition to confusing the meal I requested through Book the Cook, the flight attendant placed the dinner tray backwards. I turned it around. Plus the beef was overdone. No problem though since I had been eating all day in the superb a la carte Private Room and buffet in the first-class lounge.
After dinner the flight attendants distributed bottles of water and soon thereafter we began the descent. The flight was vectored around a bit and we landed from the north at 19:02 on Runway 19R (One Nine Right). We parked at Gate D4 at 19:12. Gate D4 is in the middle of the terminal and thankfully greatly shortened the walk to immigration which can often be a half kilometer or more at BKK. Total flight time was one hour and 47 minutes and covered 1,087 statute miles.
My first 787-10 ride confirmed that this is a terrific airplane. Singapore Airlines uses a seat in business class that is perfect for the regional routes it will fly. The higher cabin pressurization and humidity and fantastic 787 windows provide a great on-board experience. Passengers in economy, though, must endure a very tight seating arrangement.