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Another Dreamliner? Meet the 787-9

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Despite a few well-documented speed bumps, Boeing is continuing innovation and development with its 787.

On August 24, Boeing unveiled its first completed 787-9, the second model in the Dreamliner family. The plane rolled out from Boeing’s Everett, Washington, factory to the flight line. Now on the line, teams are preparing to start test flights of the plane before fall. Plans are for the aircraft to be in service by mid-2014 with Air New Zealand taking the first delivery.

So what sets the 787-9 apart from the 787-8 that is up in the air today? It looks like bigger is better. The 787-9 extends the capacity and range of the Dreamliner family. The aircraft’s fuselage is 20 feet longer than the 787-8, which translates into room for 40 more passengers on board. The plane can also travel an additional 300 nautical miles.

In a statement on the new design, Boeing positions the new model as a step forward in innovation:

The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8 such as its exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes — and passenger-pleasing features.

Two additional 787-9s are in the final stages of assembly.

For more reports on the Dreamliner, check out:

By Lily J. Kosner for PeterGreenberg.com

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