Persistent problems with the 787 Dreamliner haven’t stopped Boeing from rolling out new versions of the passenger jet it says will change the aviation market by offering new levels of fuel economy and comfort.
Saturday, the American plane maker announced the completion of the first 787-9, the extended version of the Dreamliner jet that will fit more passengers and offer more range than the 787-8 already in service.
The original 787-8 Dreamliner seats 201-250 passengers and offers a range of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles. The 787-9 is 20 feet longer, has room for 40 more passengers, and can fly an extra 300 miles without refueling.
Boeing says the first test flight of the first 787-9 should take place later this summer. First delivery, to Air New Zealand, is set for mid-2014. The second and third aeroplanes are now in final assembly.
At the Paris Air Show in June, Boeing announced the launch of the third jet in the Dreamliner family. The 787-10 will have seats for up to 330 passengers, and fly 7,000 nautical miles on a full tank. It has already secured orders for more than 100 of the new plane.
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