Aviation fans have already named it Dreamliner 2.0.
No longer grounded for safety concerns, Boeing's embattled 787 Dreamliner now has a few things to prove. Monday might be a good day to start. That's when domestic Dreamliner flights return to America's airways.
At 11 a.m., United Flight 1 is scheduled to depart Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport for Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. The airline plans to roll out additional 787 flights throughout the week. Some international carriers have already resumed Dreamliner service.
For aviation enthusiasts it's kind of a big deal. As word spreads of Dreamliner's return, travel advisers report they're getting calls from curious fliers looking to connect with one of United's six 787s at Dreamliner hubs.
They want a chance to ride the 787 and experience its fancy interior lighting, high-tech windows and mysterious anti-turbulence technology. So far, United is the only U.S. carrier flying the aircraft
This plane is so lightweight that it can fly farther with the same amount of fuel as heavier airliners. It can carry 200-plus passengers a third of the way around the globe. Boeing says the plane's increased profitability will open more destination cities for travelers.
Industry observers are curious to see what the future holds for Dreamliner, the first entire airline model to be grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration in more than 30 years.
Lithium-ion batteries that overheated on two Dreamliners in January prompted authorities to ground all 50 787s worldwide, but a redesigned battery system has cleared the way for the plane's return.
Here are five things about Dreamliner for American travelers to keep in mind now that it's back in service:
How safe is it?
"It's a safe airliner to get back on and fly," says Capt. Kevin Hiatt, president of the Flight Safety Foundation, an independent aviation safety think tank. The FAA simply exercised an abundance of caution when it grounded the aircraft, he says. What travelers should take away from the grounding is "the fact that we've got a pretty good system that works."
Still, now that all eyes are on Dreamliner in the wake of the grounding, new reports of even minor glitches are likely to make travelers nervous.
Japanese airline ANA reported an incident that damaged an electrical distribution panel on a Dreamliner test flight on May 4. ANA blamed it on a nut that had not been properly tightened, calling it a "minor issue" unrelated to batteries.
A team made up of experts from Boeing and from outside the company redesigned the battery system, which separates, insulates and ventilates the battery cells. Passenger rights advocates have screamed "conflict of interest" about the FAA's longstanding policy allowing Boeing to certify components of its own aircraft. They're calling for more independent testing and analysis of Dreamliner's battery fix. But Hiatt says the process is safe and as independent as possible.
"Looking at historical data, we haven't had any evidence over the years that self-certification has been responsible for any problems," says John Goglia, a former member of the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal air crash investigation agency.
Travelers have such high regard for the safety of the U.S. aviation system they don't pay much attention to the kind of plane they're flying, says Brett Snyder, travel adviser and self-described "president and chief airline dork" of CrankyFlier.com. Most aren't worried about flying the 787, but if Dreamliner develops another problem "then that might change things."
Goglia, who also worked for years as an airline mechanic, warns that a repeat incident with the batteries "would severely impeach Boeing's engineering capabilities." Success for the Dreamliner heavily relies on no repeats, Goglia says.
How's its reputation?
When an aircraft is hit by the first FAA grounding order for an entire airliner type in three decades, does it come with a stigma? "They're definitely going to have some lumps in the road because of that," says Goglia.
On the other hand, Snyder believes the "average everyday traveler isn't looking at the specific aircraft type. They're looking at the flight times and they're looking at the prices."
"I'm sure there are some people that are feeling like they don't want to get on it," says Snyder. "They'll probably feel that way in the short term until the Dreamliner develops a "track record of being reliable and safe."
CNN.com readers have mixed feelings about the new plane.
"If there are no further incidents absolutely no one is going to remember this in a year or two," wrote one commenter. "Other troubled airplanes like the DC-10 actually killed people and still went on to be successes."
Another isn't so optimistic: "I fly between continents 1-2 times per year and have done so for the last decade and I will NEVER set foot on a Dreamliner."
How does it feel?