Boeing's Stretched 787 Certified

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Boeing's stretched version of the 787 Dreamliner is now certified by the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency, Boeing announced this week. The 787-9 adds an extra 20 feet to the fuselage length and has proved popular with customers, Boeing said. Twenty-six operators have ordered 413 of the airplanes, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders. The comprehensive type-certification test program required five airplanes and more than 1,500 hours of flight testing, plus ground and laboratory testing, Boeing said. The first copy of the new airplane will be delivered to Air New Zealand later this month.

The extra length enables the 787-9 to carry an additional 40 passengers and adds 300 nm to the range. Boeing has an even longer version, the 787-10, already in the planning stages. An FAA/Boeing team recently completed a design review of the 787, concluding that the aircraft was soundly designed and met its intended safety level. The review was prompted by a lithium battery fire on board a parked 787 in Boston in January 2013.