To highlight the importance of code in our lives, we have started a semi-regular series called How much code? Last week, we looked at how many lines of code it takes to run an average car. Today, we’re looking at how many lines of code goes into planes – specifically, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
It’s proven to be a difficult task to find out how many lines of code go into the workings of an average airplane. But, we have been able to track down the details for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The 787 is generally a long-haul plane and it seats between circa 242 and 335 passengers. According to wikipedia, this plane was created to be 20% more fuel efficient than the 767 that it replaced. Therefore, it was built with more composite materials and used more tech to try to achieve this.
According to Information is Beautiful, the Boeing 787 Dreamliners’ avionics and online support systems are made using between 6 and 7 million lines of code. The same source tells us that the total flight software of the 787 amounts to nearly 14 million lines of code.
How many lines of code in other planes?
While we’ve found it difficult to find out how many lines of code go into other commercial planes, we did find an interesting fact regarding another type of plane. The F-22 Raptor. The F-22 Raptor is a twin-engine stealth fighter aircraft used by the United States Air Force. In terms of build, it shares something in common with the 787 – it uses Boeing-built wings, training systems and avionics. However, the F-22 Raptor is built with far less lines of code. In fact, it’s estimated that there is between one and two millions lines of code in this fighter jet. The F-35 Fighter jet on the other hand has an estimated 24 million lines of code.