The Boeing 787 is sometimes called the ‘plastic plane’ due to its substantial use of carbon fiber, but it also pioneered greater use of electric systems. At the heart of these developments was the 787’s electrical environmental control system (ECS), which replaced the traditional pneumatic bleed air control with electric motor-driven compressors that feed the rest of the ECS. Prior to the 787, efficiencies for pneumatic systems were mainly achieved by making them lighter, ...


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