Boeing has completed the critical design review for the stretched 787-9, and according to sources, seems to be ‘happy’ that it is tracking its ambitious performance targets – both in terms of payload/range and critical aircraft structural weight.
The clock is ticking on the 787-9 as first deliveries are set to begin in only 27 months, and Boeing knows it cannot afford a repeat of the delays experienced on the 787-8. The key challenge for the 787-9 is to deliver approximately a 20% increase in passenger load (around 40 more seats), and additional range without a change in wingspan. Several weight-related design changes are being invoked with the shift to the -9, many as a result of lessons-learned on the -8, including a revised side-of-body structural join. Overall the -9, which was defined last summer, will be 20 ft longer than the -8 with a 206 ft fuselage. It will carry up to 290 passengers in standard configuration and have a range of up to 8,500 naut mile.
Further details of the 787-9 timetable and development may be revealed at briefings planned for later today. So watch this space.
787-9 - CDR passed in September. (Boeing)