Boeing rolls out 787-9, tells

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

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
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • Ewan K

    Ewan K

    19 Jul, 2013 11:27 am

    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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  • johnaboxall


    19 Jul, 2013 01:06 pm

    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.

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  • madge


    19 Jul, 2013 01:15 pm

    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.

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  • Ewan K

    Ewan K

    19 Jul, 2013 01:24 pm

    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 

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  • sq421


    20 Jul, 2013 08:17 am

    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. 

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  • Vaughnus


    19 Jul, 2013 12:53 pm

    Any images so far?

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  • No member give thanks


20 Jul, 2019 06:01 pm


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