Boeing Announces Plans For Stretch Version Of 787
The Boeing Company announced that it plans to launch a new stretch version of its 787 Dreamliner family – the 787-10.
Boeing made the announcement at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France, Tuesday morning. The 787-10 Dreamliner will be the carrier’s largest version of the jet, seating 300–330 people.
United Airlines plans to buy 20 of the new Dreamliners. “Advanced technology aircraft like the 787-10 are key to United's future, enabling us to fly fuel-efficient, customer-pleasing aircraft that are the right size for many long-haul markets in our unparalleled network,” said Jeff Smisek, United Airlines CEO said in a statement, also released Tuesday morning.
Others included in the launch group are Singapore Airlines (30 orders), British Airways (10 orders) – and two aircraft leasing companies – The Air Lease Corporation (30 orders) and GECAS (10 orders).
The announcement came just four days after the Airbus A350, the 787’s competition, took to the skies for the first time. The 787-10 is expected to be delivered in 2018 with its first test flight in 2017, though Boeing is not certain which company will receive the order first.
Boeing has stated that 787-10 will have a range of 10,000 nautical miles. This is the third version of the Dreamliner – the 787-9 is in its final stage of assembly, set to take its first flight this year.
The Dreamliners have had a troubled past – the original Dreamliner 787 was announced in 2007 and expected to fly later that year. Because of a range of issues, the first flight didn’t take place until 2009 and the first commercial delivery didn’t occur until 2011. Earlier this year, the worldwide fleet of 787s was grounded after battery fires on the planes of two Japanese carriers.
Despite these troubles, Dreamliners are still popular with airlines. One of the main reasons for this is its high level of fuel efficiency, which is due to use of composite materials and new engines. The 787-10 is predicted to be its most fuel-efficient model in the airline industry.