Boeing to settle on firm 787-9 configuration this year

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Boeing says it is on track for locking the firm configuration of the 787-9 by the fourth quarter of 2009.

Speaking at the company's annual investor conference, Scott Fancher, 787 programme vice president and general manager, says the aircraft will proceed to detailed development once firm configuration is finalized.

The key to a successful derivative development programme, Fancher emphasizes: "Don't forget the lessons learned on the -8."

Fancher adds that more Boeing engineers are working on the design of 787-9 than were on the -8, a consequence of applying learned lessons after production and design woes added nearly two years to 787 development.

Boeing says the 787-9 is on track to enter service in early 2013 with launch customer Air New Zealand.