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The New Boeing 787-9 is Unveiled
On Saturday Boeing unveiled their latest addition to the Dreamliner fleet, the 787-9, which Boeing expects to be ready for its first flight later this summer.
The 787-9 is 20 feet longer and will carry 40 more passengers. The new aircraft will also be able to fly an additional 300 miles compared to the current 787-8 model. As a result of the extra length it will be able to carry 40 more passengers than its predecessor.
The new carbon-composite design aircraft is promoted for its fuel efficiency and emissions levels, which Boeing claims are 20% less than comparable sized planes. Boeing is also touting the aircraft’s passenger comforts, which include large, dimmable windows, roomy overhead bins and a smoother ride.
“We are working with our supplier partners to continue to introduce improvements to the 787-8 to enhance reliability, just as we do for all of our airplane models,” said Boeing’s communications representative Julie O’Donnell. “As the 787-8 and 787-9 share a high degree of commonality, we will apply relevant improvements to the 787-9 as appropriate.”
With the second and third versions of the plane in their final stages of assembly, Boeing plans to deliver the 787-9 to Air New Zealand in the middle of next year. “Production remains on track to support the first scheduled customer deliver next year,” Boeing CEO Jim McNerney noted, during a second-quarter earnings call.
787 Dreamliner is in demand
Boeing has had a total of 82 orders to date for the 787 model. The largest order of 42 planes came from American Airlines, with Singapore Airlines coming in second with an order for 30 planes.
Rough year for the Dreamliner fleet
This announcement has been one of the few positive developments for the company this year.
The Dreamliner fleet experienced a four-month global grounding after an ANA flight was diverted following a battery fire in January, which was the first such global grounding of an aircraft in 30 years. The grounding was lifted at the end of April.
Since the crushing ANA incident, the Dreamliner’s problems continued and have included, a United Airlines emergency landing in Houston due to brake problems, a fire on an Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner at Heathrow Airport and plane groundings for investigations into a faulty fuel pump indicator, an electrical panel, a plane oven and emergency beacons.