Boeing rolls out 787-9, tells "what we learned from the 787-8"

By David Flynn, July 19 2013
Boeing rolls out 787-9, tells

Boeing has quietly rolled the first of its stretched 787-9 Dreamliners out of its factory in Everett, Washington overnight, with little fanfare and even less attention from the public.

This elongated version of the standard 787-8 is painted in Boeing's own branded livery but will eventually carry Air New Zealand's new livery when the Kiwi carrier, which is launch customer for the 787-9 series, collects the keys to this Dreamliner in mid-2014.

Ebony or ivory? Two choices of livery for Air New Zealand's first Boeing 787...

Boeing expects this first 787-9 to make its inaugural test flight next month, and says that many lessons from the production of the 787-8 have been fed into the evolution of the -9.

"We learned a lot from the 787-8, from design to flight testing (and) the battery is a whole 787 issue" Boeing's regional director of product marketing, Carrie Shiu, told Australian Business Traveller during a 787 briefing in Seattle earlier this year.

"We learned how to optimise the structure and fine-tune the thickness of material, and we further improved the aerodynamics of the airplane" Shiu said.

"There are also things we learned along the way on the -9 that we are now looking at how they can be put back on the -8".

Air New Zealand will fly its Boeing 787-9 to Shanghai and Tokyo as "key long haul destinations" for the new Dreamliner fleet, with secondary destinations including Perth, Honolulu and Papeete.

Read: Air New Zealand reveals Boeing 787 routes, seating

With room for around 40 more seats than the 787-8 plus slightly longer range, and being seen as a more mature version of the 787 family, Boeing has orders from 20 customers for some 335 of the second-gen Dreamliners, representing over 40 percent of all 787 orders.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 12

Why this nonsense of beginning a new series of aircraft with a Mark 8, thus 787-8, meaning the next one is 787-9. Then they run out of numbers.

Same with the 747. It started off neatly with the 100 then progressed sensibly to 747-400. Then a nonsense jump to 747-8. Presumably we will see the 747-9, then the 747-10: not to be confused with the 747-100...

Airbus is just as silly, opening the batting with the A380-8. 

Perhaps it's a competition between the two big guys to see who can come up with the least logical system?

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24 Aug 2011

Total posts 786

True. Maybe they'll change to words like Intel did when going from the i486 to the Pentium. Ha. However Boeing have bigger issues at the moment.

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 196

The 747 actually has followed the sequence of numbering.

747-100 through 400 were all produced. After the 744 were the stillborn 747-500 & 747-600, which were offered in 1996 but were killed by the Asian Financial Crisis. The 747-700 was also proposed but was never formally offered.

So the 747-8 does follow the sequence, but the 787 clearly does not.

Also, it's unlikely we'll see any further 747 models. It's pretty much taking it's last gasps for life.

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 12

Thanks for that interesting info, Madge. Dunno that 'offered' and 'proposed' designs should actually hold onto a model number they never used. But you do make a fair point.

Where can I find info, ideally with photos and/or drawings on the missing 747 models? Cheers, Ewan 

21 Apr 2011

Total posts 42

Actually, the 747-800 (otherwise shortened in the industry to 748) was a tip of the hat to the 787, a lot of technologies form which were incorporated into the larger plane. 

21 May 2012

Total posts 4

Any images so far?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2549

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