Boeing just rolled out an Air New Zealand 787-9 from the paint booth, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Not only because I thought it was one of the coolest looking airliners ever, but it was because I couldn’t believe that the 787-9 is so far along in production. Yeah, I haven’t been paying attention to the latest commercial aviation news, and it caught me totally off guard that the first stretched version of the 787 is just about to be launched.
Thankfully, all I had to do was stretch my original 787-8 template a bit to get this one out the door. And I found it interesting that it wasn’t even all that much of a stretch. This -9 variant is not even the longest 787 Dreamliner up Boeing’s sleeve – there’s actually an even longer one (the 787-10) in the works that will be coming out very soon. And you can bet that I’ll create a template of it as soon as I can get some good quality photos of a production model.
I’m going to be a bit honest and tell you that I had to take a wild guess when it came to drawing the part lines on the fuselage of this aircraft. There aren’t a lot of good reference photos of this thing yet, so the part lines that you see are not completely accurate – but I don’t claim any of my illustrations to be perfect, so this is going to have to do (for now). I’ll update these drawings sometime in the future when I run across a detailed depiction of the sectioning on these Dreamliners.
It’s a good looking aircraft though, isn’t it? I’m still not sure I like the shape of the nose in these side view illustrations, but it looks pretty good in real life. And this little bit of a stretch is just what the 787 needed IMHO. The -8 was always just a bit too stubby for my tastes, but this -9 has the perfect amount of length without looking too long and lean (kind of like how the 777-300 is).