Boeing plans to increase the projected payload capacity of the 737-900 by up to 450kg (1,000lb) as preparations are completed for its planned first flight, tentatively set for 4 August.
The extra capacity will be offered as an optional increase in maximum landing weight and will recover margin taken up by Boeing's earlier decision to offer a 900kg maximum zero fuel weight increase.
"This option gives some operators extra fuel reserves to include the next alternate airport, which is important to some of their route structures," says 737-900 programme manager Jon Robinson.
The first -900 has left the assembly line at Boeing's Renton plant, and will have its formal roll-out on 23 July. The test effort is expected to last for 380h.
Certification is expected around late February 2001, with first delivery to launch customer Alaska Airlines in April.
Source: Flight International