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Up close with the first Boeing 787-9 (pictures)

Boeing showed off the test version of its 280-passenger, energy-efficient jet at the Farnborough International Airshow. Here's a look at this special test model.

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Stephen Shankland
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1 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

On July 13, the Boeing 787-9 made its Farnborough debut. It's a longer successor to the 787-8 and can carry 280 passengers, not just 242.

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2 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 cockpit

The cockpit of the Boeing 787-9, on display at the Farnborough International Airshow.

​The massive wheels of the Boeing 787-9, a 280-passenger energy-efficient jet.
3 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

The massive wheels of the Boeing 787-9, a 280-passenger energy-efficient jet.

The debut at Farnborough of the Boeing 787-9, a longer successor to the 787-8.
4 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

On July 13, the Boeing 787-9 made its Farnborough debut. It's a longer successor to the 787-8 and can carry 280 passengers, not just 242.

​The 787-9 comes with either GE or Rolls-Royce engines, but both are designed to be more efficient than earlier engines.
5 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

The 787-9 comes with either GE or Rolls-Royce engines, but both are designed to be more efficient than earlier engines.

A front view of Boeing's 787-9.
6 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

A front view of Boeing's 787-9.

The 787-9's head-up display (HUD) overlays electronic information such as the horizon line on the pilot's view of the world.
7 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

The 787-9's head-up display (HUD) overlays electronic information such as the horizon line on the pilot's view of the world.

Rolls Royce engine
8 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

The first certified model of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has Rolls Royce engines.

Electronically tinting windows
9 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

Boeing's 787 family has larger windows so more people can see out. They change from transparent to opaque electronically. At left is completely opaque, at center is transparent, and at right is an intermediate setting.

​The Boeing 787-9 test aircraft has massive water tanks. Up to 7,000 pounds of water can be shifted around to test different weight distribution situations.
10 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 ballast tanks

The Boeing 787-9 test aircraft has massive water tanks. Up to 7,000 pounds of water can be shifted around to test different weight distribution situations.

Boeing saved weight on the 787 family with these remote power distribution units (RPDUs). Instead of many running power cables from a central electronics bay, these supply power closer to equipment that needs it, meaning less heavy copper wiring.
11 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

Boeing saved weight on the 787 family with these remote power distribution units (RPDUs). Instead of many running power cables from a central electronics bay, these supply power closer to equipment that needs it, meaning less heavy copper wiring.

787-9 lower noise
12 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

New jet designs mean the 787-9 is less noisy. That means it can save weight on cabin soundproofing, too.

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13 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

The back of the first 787-9 has coiled tubing extended from the back of the plane's tail during test flights. It's used to measure the true air pressure to compare with the different higher and lower pressures near the plane.

This is the first Boeing 787-9 built.
14 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

This is the first Boeing 787-9 built.

Capt. Randy Neville, Boeing's 787 chief pilot, stands in front of the 787-9 he's been flying in tests and demonstrations.
15 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

787 chief pilot

Capt. Randy Neville, Boeing's 787 chief pilot, stands in front of the 787-9 he's been flying in tests and demonstrations.

The 787-9 test flight is filled with cabines of diagnostic electronics.
16 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

The 787-9 test flight is filled with cabins of diagnostic electronics.

The 787-9's backswept wing.
17 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

The 787-9 has a backswept wingtip.

Boeing 787-9 cockpit
18 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

Boeing 787-9 cockpit

Boeing 787-9 cockpit.
19 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

The Boeing 787-9 cockpit.

A view along the Boeing 787-9 fuselage and wing.
20 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

A view along the Boeing 787-9 fuselage and wing.

Boeing 787-9 engine
21 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

The Boeing 787-9 engine and characteristic scalloped cowling.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at Farnborough International Airshow
22 of 22 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Boeing 787-9 at Farnborough

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at Farnborough International Airshow.

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