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Boeing Offers Clues On 787-10

Fri, 09/14/2012 - 2:04pm
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Boeing Co. is getting closer to figuring out what the next version of its new 787 would look like, although it still hasn't decided for sure whether to build it.

The aircraft manufacturer has been delivering the base model of the new 787 for a year now. A slightly longer 787-9 is being built, and accounts for roughly 300 of the 800 orders Boeing has booked. The first one is expected to be delivered in early 2014.

But Boeing is also thinking about making a longer version, the 787-10. The plane would have two additional "donuts," or fuselage sections, said Ray Conner, who runs Boeing's commercial airplane division. Conner spoke on Friday at a Morgan Stanley analyst conference, which was webcast. The main question is whether the bigger plane would need redesigned landing gear, he said.

The 787-8, which Boeing is delivering now, is a long-range, medium-sized plane that can haul as many as 250 passengers. Boeing says the 787-9 will hold up to 290, with a slightly longer flying range.

Boeing is making five 787s per month now and is aiming to hit 10 per month next year. Conner said on Friday that Boeing is on track to hit those targets.

Boeing shares fell 20 cents to $71.38 in midday trading after rising as high as $72.43 earlier in the session. Its shares have fallen 8 percent from a 52-week high of $77.83 in early May.

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