Boeing's 787-9 set to take flight

EVERETT -- Boeing is close to conducting the first flight test for the new stretched 787-9 and analysts predict it will happen next week.

According to Aviation Week, Boeing made significant changes to the new Dreamliner based on lessons the manufacturer learned from the 787-8. The changes include modifications to the design and production of the tail, the side-of-body wing joint and elements of the wing's internal structure.

Changes were also made to some electronics and the lithium ion batteries that led to the grounding of the 50 787-8 Dreamliners in service in early 2013, according to Scott Hamilton, an industry consultant and managing director of Leeham Co.

The 787-9 is 20 feet longer that the 787-8 model currently in production and will seat up to 40 more passengers, for a total of 290.

Boeing rolled out the first completed 787-9 from its factory in Everett late last month.

The first delivery is due in mid-2014.