Boeing has finalized the configuration of the 787-9 Dreamliner, a milestone the company says it has reached after years of collaboration with airline customers and partners to determine the optimal configuration for the stretched version of the Dreamliner.
“Firm configuration means the airplane’s structural, propulsion and systems architectures are defined and not changing,” says Mark Jenks, vice president of 787-9 development for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We have been working closely with our customers for years to reach this milestone.”
Boeing has completed the trade studies required to finalize the aircraft’s overall capability and basic design, allowing the airframer and its suppliers to begin detailed design of parts, assemblies and other systems for the 787-9. As detailed designs are completed and released, production can begin. The first 787-9 delivery to a customer is scheduled for late 2013, after many delays to the program that have seen 787 production and deliveries delayed by some two-and-a-half years overall.
Air New Zealand will be the first airline to receive the stretched version of the 787. Other customers for the version are many and include large customers such as Qantas, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines.
“We have a disciplined process in place to ensure we have completed all of the requirements for the development stage of the program,” says Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The 787-9 is the second member of the 787 family. Slightly bigger than the 787-8, the 787-9 will seat 250 to 290 passengers, 16 per cent more than the 787-8. The 787-9 will have a range of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800km to 15,750km).
The 787 Dreamliner is an all-new, twin-aisle, two-engine commercial jet designed to meet the needs of airlines around the world in providing nonstop service between mid-size cities with new levels of efficiency. Boaing says the aircraft will bring improved levels of comfort to passengers as a result of its larger windows, bigger baggage bins and advances in cabin environment, including lower cabin altitude, higher humidity and cleaner air.
Delivery of the first 787, a 787-8, is planned for the fourth quarter of 2010. Launch customer All Nippon Airways of Japan is due to be the first customer to receive the 787 and put the type into commercial service.