Boeing again has increased the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of the 787-9 as it further refines the performance of the larger variant due in late 2013.

According to the March 2011 update to its "airport compatibility brochure", the MTOW of the 250- to 290-passenger 787-9 has increased from 247 to 251t (545,000 to 553,000lb), while preserving the 14,800 to 15,700km (8,000 to 8,500nm) range.

The MTOW increase is the third such change for the 787-9, which initially began its design life at 245t, with a range of 15,900 to 16,300 km.

Additionally, Boeing has also further reduced the maximum fuel capacity slightly for the 787-9 from 126,910L (33,428USgal) to 126,372L.

Boeing has left unchanged the maximum zero fuel weight and maximum landing weight at 181t and 193t, respectively.

The changes to the 787-9 reflect Boeing's refining of its design since firm configuration in July 2010, which freezed structural, propulsion and systems architectures.

Boeing has varied the size of the 787-9's wing, weights and fuel capacity several times, as it seeks to capture better payload range performance over the 787-8, which is set to enter service in the third quarter with Japan's All Nippon Airways.

The airframer acknowledged in June that the early 787-8s would miss its specification performance as increased in structural weight has taken its toll on payload range, but emphasised the aircraft would meet its contractual obligations to customers.

Air New Zealand, launch customer for the 787-9, anticipates their first delivery in late-2013. Boeing plans to ramp up Dreamliner production to 10 aircraft per month by the end of that year.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news