As the first 787-9 takes to the air in the initial stages of its test flight program, Boeing has highlighted the important role its Australian employees and suppliers play in the production of the new generation aircraft.
Ian Thomas, president Boeing Australia & South Pacific said the 787-9 milestone illustrated the strong relationship between Boeing and Australia’s aviation manufacturing industry.
“Our operations at Fishermans Bend, where we design and build key components for the Dreamliner, are supported by strong and enduring partnerships across the Australian industrial landscape. The success of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner program is a tribute to Australian innovation and productivity. With the first flight of the 787-9, we expect that success to continue,” Thomas added.
Boeing Aerospace Australia produces the moveable trailing edge components of every 787 Dreamliner and partners closely with a number of local aviation and aerospace manufacturing firms to support both the 787-8 and the 787-9.
The 787-9 leverages the design of the 787-8 while carrying more passengers further. The 787-9 seats 250-290 passengers with a range of 8,000 to 8,500nm while using 20 per cent less fuel and with 20 per cent than any other airplane of its size.
Since the 787 program was launched in 2004, 58 customers have placed orders for more than 850 aircraft valued, making it the most successful twin-aisle launch in Boeing’s history. To date, 24 customers worldwide have ordered 388 787-9s, or 40 percent of all 787 orders. First delivery of the 787-9 is set for mid-2014.
Boeing Australia represents the parent group’s largest operational footprint outside the US, with more than 3,400 employees working across commercial and defence businesses. Business units represented in Australia include Boeing Defence, Boeing Aerostructures, Jeppesen, Boeing Training & Flight Services, Aviall, Boeing Research & Technology and Insitu Pacific.