Still dealing with the 787 Dreamliner’s manufacturing issues, Boeing has confirmed that it is developing a new variant of the 787-10 model with longer range and payload.
The new version was revealed by commercial aircraft division CEO Stan Deal to The Seattle Times. According to the executive, the intention is to make the Dreamliner more competitive against the Airbus A350-900.
Currently, the largest of the 787 has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 254 tonnes, against 280 tonnes for Airbus’ rival.
Although it can carry almost the same number of passengers as the A350, the 787-10 has a much lower range, at 11,730 km against 15,000 km for the Airbus model.
However, Deal did not give further details on the changes that the widebody will undergo to increase fuel capacity or when the new variant will be launched on the market.
Sales of large-capacity widebodies have been quite low in recent years, in part because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The great demand currently has been for narrowbodies with long range and passenger capacity, notably the A321XLR, which has made Airbus close several deals.
Boeing, for its part, offers the 737 MAX 10, but that doesn’t even offer a performance close to the A320neo family. Deal, however, ruled out the launch of a new model so soon.
The US manufacturer intends to recover sales and resolve its various problems before planning an aircraft from scratch.