Boeing's 787, its newest passenger airliner, arrived in Japan this week for readiness tests ahead of its entry into commercial service.

Japan's All Nippon Airways is the launch customer for the 787 and has 55 of the jets on order. Service is due to begin in August or September this year and this week's flights in Japan are meant to provide ANA with some hands-on experience to help ensure things go as planned when commercial flights begin.

The start of 787 flights is about three years behind schedule because of technical problems that have plagued development work. But Boeing says the problems are behind it.

The 787 is not only the newest airliner in the skies, but it's also the most high-tech.

The fuselage is made of a composite plastic, not aluminium like other aircraft, and that means it's lighter. Combined with more efficient engines, the 787 should burn about 20 percent less fuel that a 767, and that means 20 percent less carbon dioxide.

There have been changes to the engine housings, with a noise-reducing material around the air intake and tipped exhaust covers to make life quieter for passengers and those on the ground.

Inside, the 787 has an all electronic cockpit and aircraft wide computer network that links the flight deck to all the control systems. Many of the air and hydraulic systems found in other airliners have been replaced with electronic systems in the 787. The brakes are entirely electrically driven.

Sensors throughout the aircraft constantly measure flight parameters and, if sent back to base, allow real-time ground-based monitoring to take place at an airline. If something needs attention, a repair team can be ready to go to work as soon as it taxis in after landing.

For passengers, the most obvious differences will be in the cabin. Pull-up and down window shades are gone in favor of electro-chromatic dimmable windows. They act like adjustable sunglasses and should put a stop to the glare often encountered when flying high above clouds.

The windows themselves are bigger and LED lighting is used throughout.

On ANA, high-tech Japanese "washlet" toilets are fitted in all classes and passengers will also find a power outlet, USB port and iPod connector and the entertainment system screens are touchpanels.

And one final change. The cabin is pressurized to 6,000 feet instead of the normal 8,000 feet. ANA says that should mean passengers feel less tired when they get off the plane.