UPDATE: A source has told me that Boeing has planned a tentative roll out date for the first 787-9 for February 2012.
In a press release this morning, Boeing confirmed that they have finalized the 787-9 configuration which will allow Boeing and partner engineers to begin detail design work and release those plans for manufacture of parts.
The 787-9 is the stretch version of the 787-8 though they are keeping the same wing as the 787-8 thus allowing for weight savings. The 787-9 is looking at a range of about 8000 nm to 8500 nm though that is said to be improving as Boeing is finding ways to save weight in the 787-9 (some of these design changes are planned to be incorporated into the 787-8 at later stages). The aircraft should seat about 250 to 290 passengers. The follwoing article by Saj Ahmad goeing into a nice analysis of the 787-9:
On the 9 by Saj Ahmad
Boeing is planning to have the 787-9 compete head on with the A350-800 (as well as the A300-300) but sources have told me that they feel that the 787-9 would be extremely competitive against the A350-900 which will be Airbus' first A350 off to be delivered. Right now both the A350-900 and the 787-9 are planned for first delivery in 2013 though some sources are telling me to expect further delays to the A350. If the 787-9 can meet or even exceed weight expectations as well as getting SFC (specific fuel consumption) improvements from both engines, then the 787-9 can be a true economic engine for many of the airlines that order it.
Here's video and a report Boeing put out about the 787-9 this morning:
Boeing Finalizes Configuration for Newest Dreamliner
Here's the test of Boeing's press release for the 787-9 configuration:
Boeing Completes Firm Configuration of 787-9 Dreamliner
EVERETT, Wash., July 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) today announced the completion of firm configuration for the 787-9 Dreamliner. Boeing reached this milestone after years of collaboration with airline customers and partners to determine the optimal configuration for the new stretch version of the Dreamliner.
"Firm configuration means the airplane's structural, propulsion and systems architectures are defined and not changing," said Mark Jenks, vice president of 787-9 development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Boeing has completed the trade studies required to finalize the airplane's overall capability and basic design, allowing the airplane manufacturer and its suppliers to begin detailed design of parts, assemblies and other systems for the 787-9. As detailed designs are completed and released, production can begin. The first 787-9 delivery is scheduled for late 2013.
"We have a disciplined process in place to ensure we have completed all of the requirements for the development stage of the program," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The team has done a fantastic job to get us through this important milestone."
The 787-9 is the second member of the 787 family. A slightly bigger version of the 787-8, the airplane will seat 250-290 passengers, 16 percent more than the 787-8. The 787-9 will have a range of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 km).
"We have been working closely with our customers for years to reach this milestone," said Mark Jenks, vice president of 787-9 development. "We are excited about the performance and capability this airplane will offer our customers."
The 787 Dreamliner is an all-new twinjet designed to meet the needs of airlines around the world in providing nonstop service between midsize cities with new levels of efficiency. The airplane will bring improved levels of comfort to passengers with larger windows, bigger baggage bins and advances in the cabin environment, including lower cabin altitude, higher humidity and cleaner air. Delivery of the first 787 is planned for the fourth quarter of 2010.