Despite some last minute minor issues, European and American aviation agencies have given their approval for Boeing's newest version of the Dreamliner, the 787-9, to enter commercial service.
The approvals by the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Safety Agency, will allow Boeing to deliver its first commercial 787-9 to Air New Zealand later this month.
The 787-9 is the latest and largest version of the Dreamliner so far. The plane is some 20 feet longer than the basic 787-8, which has been in service for more than two years.
The 787-9 shares advantages built into the Dreamliner family, composite fuselage and wings, larger windows, lower cabin altitude, more efficient engines, a modern cockpit, electrically-powered control surfaces and an airy interior feel.
Twenty-six customers have ordered 413 787-9s, about 40 percent of the total number of Dreamliners now on order.
Boeing builds Dreamliners at its wide-body factory in Everett and at a new plant in North Charleston, S.C.
The 787-9 is one of three 787 models Boeing is offering. The -9 carries 280 passengers in a typical seating configuration versus 242 for the smaller -8 version of the Dreamliner. The -9 has a range of 9,500 miles compared with 9,000 miles for the -8.
The largest version in the Dreamliner family, 787-10, will carry 323 passengers in a normal seating configuration. Its range will be 8,000 miles. The 787-10 is still in development.