US planemaker Boeing has begun final assembly of the first 787-9 Dreamliner. The newest member of the 787 family, the fuel efficient jetliner will allow airlines to grow routes opened by the 787-8.
"From the start, the entire 787-9 team has focused relentlessly on execution so that we fulfill the commitments to our customers," says Mark Jenks, Vice President, 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"Integrating the 787-9 into our production system on time is another clear sign that we are well prepared and well positioned for the work ahead."
Boeing's global partners delivered the first 787-9 sections to final assembly on or ahead of schedule, and strong progress continues beyond, with major assembly under way on the other flight-test airplanes.
Boeing will build the first three 787-9s on its Temporary Surge Line in Everett to allow for smoother integration of the 787-9 into the production system while continuing to ramp up production across the 787 program.
The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8.
With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters), the 787-9 will carry 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 kilometers) while using 20%less fuel than similarly sized airplanes.
The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering the features passengers prefer such as large, dimmable windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air, and a smoother ride.
First flight of the 787-9 is scheduled for the second half of 2013, with first delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand set for early 2014. 20 customers around the world have ordered 355 787-9s, accounting for 40% of all 787 orders.
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