UPDATE 1-Boeing delivers first 787-9 to Air New Zealand
(Adds Boeing quote and significance of the jet's delivery)
By Alwyn Scott
SEATTLE, June 30 (Reuters) - Boeing Co contractually delivered its first 787-9 to Air New Zealand on Monday, allowing Boeing to book the delivery of the new, stretched Dreamliner in its second-quarter results.
Delivery of the 787-9, the latest of Boeing's carbon-composite aircraft, marks a major milestone for Boeing, showing the company's ability to move rapidly and on schedule through design, fabrication and testing.
Boeing has said for months that it would deliver the first 787-9 around mid-year, and it hit that date precisely on Monday.
"Boeing is proud to have contractually delivered the first 787-9 Dreamliner to Air New Zealand," spokesman Doug Alder said.
The Dreamliner uses lightweight plastic construction and a newly developed electrical system to replace heavier metal systems on older planes. Coupled with new engines produced by General Electric and Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC it offers 20 percent fuel reduction over existing, similar-sized aircraft.
Boeing struggled with early production of the smaller 787-8, and a number of those jets required extensive reworking and modification. The Dreamliner also has had problems with lithium-ion batteries that grounded the fleet for more than three months last year and required extensive modification of the battery system.
The 787-9 incorporates all of those changes along with a fuselage that is about 20 feet longer than the 787-8. The "dash nine" carries 38 more passengers than its predecessor, up to 280, in a typical three-class configuration, with a range of about 8,300 nautical miles, about 450 miles more than the 787-8. Continued...