Boeing has finished painting its first 787-9 Dreamliner, the follow-up plane to its troubled 787-8.
In a release issued late Friday night, the aviation giant noted that it had just finished painting the new airplane -- which will eventually be delivered to Air New Zealand -- in Boeing's new livery. The 747-8 was the first plane to sport the new livery, the company said.
"The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8," Boeing said in the release. "With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters), the 787-9 will carry 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 kilometers), with 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes."
The new airplane was slated to roll out of the Everett paint hangar late Friday night. The first 787-9s will be delivered, if all goes according to plan, in the middle of 2014. Aviation observers know, of course, that the Dreamliner program has been plagued with all sorts of problems and delays, from on-board fires to strikes to fleet-wide groundings.