Boeing expects to begin major assembly of the third member of its 787 family of aircraft in 2016 after completing the detailed design of the 787-10.
The 787-10’s first flight was forecast to take place in 2017, with first delivery to follow a year later, Boeing said in a statement on Wednesday (US time).
Boeing vice president of 787 airplane development Ken Sanger said the lessons from the design of the 787-9 were being incorporated into the 787-10.
Some 95 per cent of the design and build of the 787-10 and 787-9 was identical, Boeing said. This reduced complexity, cost and risk across the production system.
“Through our dedicated team and our disciplined processes, we have optimised the design for the needs of the market and are excited as we look forward to production,” Sanger said in a statement.
Completing the detailed design phase, which Boeing said was reached two weeks ahead of schedule, of the 787-10’s development allowed Boeing to build the parts and tools to assemble the aircraft.
The 787-10 is a double-stretch of the original 787-8 Dreamliner and designed to carry 330 passengers in a two-class configuration 6,430 nautical miles (11,910km).
Boeing said the 787-10 had so far received 164 orders from nine customers, which make up 14 per cent of the 1124 orders for 787 aircraft. At the end of October 2015, Boeing has delivered 340 787s (280 787-8s and 60 787-9s), leaving 784 orders unfilled, according to figures on the company’s website.
It has been reported previously Emirates Airline is evaluating the 787-10 and Airbus A350-900 for its mid-range aircraft fleet. The order could cover up to 70 aircraft, with a decision expected in a year’s time.
Closer to home, Virgin Australia alliance partner and major shareholder Singapore Airlines has 30 787-10s on order.