Boeing has officially launched the longest version of its Dreamliner – the B787-10.
The stretched version of the B787 has always been on Boeing’s drawing board, but the planemaker held off the launch until it received sufficient interest from customers. Following a series of recent orders however, including the sale of 50 B787-10s to United Airlines and Air Lease Corporation (ALC) at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday, Boeing has now confirmed that the aircraft will be put into full production.
On the second day of the Le Bourget event, United placed an order for 20 B787-10s and ALC agreed to purchase 30 of the aircraft. This follows recent commitments for the B787-10 from Singapore Airlines (30 aircraft), GECAS (10) and British Airways (12, subject to shareholder approval), taking Boeing’s total B787-10 order book to 102 aircraft.
“The 787-10 Dreamliner will be the most-efficient jetliner in history. The airplane’s operating economics are unmatched and it has all the incredible passenger-pleasing features that set the 787 family apart as truly special,” said Ray Conner, president & CEO of Boeing’s commercial aircraft unit. “The 787-10 is 25% more efficient than airplanes of its size today and more than 10% better than anything being offered by the competition for the future.”
The new B787-10 will be able to carry 300-330 passengers up on distances of almost 13,000km. This gives it approximately 60-80 more seats than the current B787-8 and 20-40 more than the B787-9, which will enter service next year with Air New Zealand.
Design of the B787-10 has already started, with flight tests expected to commence in 2017. The first delivery has initially been scheduled for 2018.
“Our ongoing investment in the 787 family is well-founded,” said Conner. “With the 787-10, we’ve designed an exceptional airplane supported by an efficient and integrated production system that can meet increasing demands and create new opportunities for us. Our team and our customers are excited about growing the product line and expanding our presence with this family of airplanes.”
The Dreamliner programme will be developed alongside the new B777-X, as Boeing overhauls its long-haul product portfolio with a new range of fuel-efficient wide-body jets.