January 24, 2013

Dude, You’re Getting a Dreamliner

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By: Matt Molnar
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Dell dude is excited. (Photo composite by NYCAviation/Boeing/Dell)
Dell dude is excited. (Photo composite by NYCAviation/Boeing/Dell)
Dell Computer scion Michael Dell is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner customer, WSJ reported on Wednesday.

Few details were known about the transaction, other than that either Dell or his family’s investment firm arranged the purchase from leasing giant ILFC. ILFC has a total of 74 Dreamliners on order from Boeing.

It was not clear whether Dell plans to use the plane for personal travel or if he may have picked it up as an investment.

The report said delivery was expected in 2014, but that is subject to change as the FAA and Boeing investigate a series of battery malfunctions. Boeing has been forced to halt 787 deliveries, not only due to the fact that the planes are not allowed to fly, but because banks will not provide financing for planes without a valid FAA operating certificate.

Ironically, Dell is no stranger to the dangers of spectacular lithium-ion battery failures like those suffered by the 787. Following a rash of battery explosions and fires in Dell laptops, in 2006 some airlines banned them from their planes due to safety concerns. Shortly thereafter, Dell recalled over 4 million laptop batteries.