United Airlines’ first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner rolled out of the manufacturer’s final assembly facility at Everett in Washington on the evening of April 8.
The roll-out marks the first major milestone in the aircraft’s production ahead of its expected delivery to United Airlines this summer. The Boeing 787-9 is the second member of the 787 Dreamliner family.
With its fuselage stretched 20 feet longer than the Boeing 787-8, United’s 787-9 will fly more than 30 additional passengers and up to 300 nautical miles farther with the same environmental performance, burning up to 20 per cent less fuel per seat and up to 20 per cent lower emissions than similarly sized, previous-generation aircraft.
United Airlines is the North American launch customer for the aircraft.
“The 787-9 is an amazing aircraft that builds on the 787-8’s proven fuel efficiency, performance and customer comfort,” says Ron Baur, United’s vice president of fleet. “We are excited to add the 787-9 to our Dreamliner fleet as it gives us even more flexibility and range to capitalize on our extensive worldwide route network.”
Earlier this year, United announced that it will operate Boeing 787-9s on non-stop flights between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport and Melbourne in Australia, beginning in October.
The airline will fly the route six times weekly with Boeing 787-9s. United will be the first North American carrier to take delivery of the 787-9, and this will be the airline’s first international deployment of the aircraft type.
Over the next several months, United’s first 787-9 will move to the next phase of completion, which includes final cabin configuration and painting. United’s 787-9 will be configured with 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
United’s first 787-9 will also be one of five aircraft used by Boeing in a flight test program to certify the type.
To date, United has flown its 787 fleet more than 30,000 hours on over 4,400 flights. The airline now operates 10 Boeing 787-8s and has an additional 55 Dreamliners on order, including 26 Boeing 787-9s and 20 Boeing 787-10 widebodies.