A few things worth mentioning.
The landing gear limits the landing weight. The greatest force is when landing.
The wingbox and wing limits the MTOW. The wings lifts up and the fuselage down.
The 787-9 does not then require a stronger landing gear for a small MTOW increase. The 787-10 already has a max landing weight 11T heavier than the 787-9.
Pavement loading of the 787-9 is also well below the 77W so a small paper MTOW increase on the 787-9 makes sense providing it is for fuel only.
An increase in MTOW for the 787-9 would require more thrust, lucky the 787-10 has engines rated with 5,000lb of extra thrust.
A 787-9 with a 260T MTOW and zero increase in empty weight would see a big increase in sales. The A350-900 at 280T currently has a significant advantage on ultra long haul flights or with heavy payloads. Both the A350-900 and 787-9 has advantages and disadvantages. I would say the A350 is the superior aircraft one versus one as the best all rounder. This MTOW increase would make the 787-9 have more advantages than disadvantages, making the 787-9 the better all rounder.
The reason the 787-9 has been selling so well against the superior A350-900 is because of the family flexibility of the smaller 787-8 and efficient 787-10. But making the 787-9 beat the A350-900 should see the 787 family dominate sales 2 to 1 against the A350 family.
There does not need to be one OR the other - 789 OR A359. They can, do and will continue to co-exist. Both are brilliant aircraft that fulfill their roles exceptionally well. Yes, one will be better than the other depending on the specific mission and airline requirement but overall, both are great.
I don't understand why RJMAZ
is so desperate for the 789 to dominate over the A359 and Zeke
is often so hell-bent on decrying the abilities or efficiencies of the 789. One being efficient and doing well does not take away from the other. There isn't a finite amount of "efficient" or "capable" in the world. The 789/J and A359 are not inversely proportional to each other's existence. If one does something well, it does not follow or mean that the other MUST be a failure in that regard. They exist on a spectrum that changes for each airline, for each route operated and even down to each individual flight. If aircraft weren't complex billion dollar investments, airlines would probably welcome even more flexibility in their operations.
This needs to stop. If the two of you were to be believed, most (if not all) airlines out there are fools who know nothing about the business they are in for choosing one or the other.
Back to the topic at hand, the 787 has long been believed to be at its MTOW limit. What exactly the limiting factor is, is debateable but based on what has been discussed over the years on this forum, I believe it is the landing gear and associated structure and how the weight is transferred to the pavement. From my understanding, Boeing tried to make the 787 as light and tight as possible. For this reason, the landing gear was only as big and structurally capable as was required at the time. Pavement loading is a factor from what I understand. Boeing had not committed to a larger 78J at the time and were very pleased with the sales of the 777 at the time. Obviously, the reasons could be something else and I could be completely off base.
They did not foresee the A350 programme growing so well in ability and size and how a variant of the 787 could be a great platform to compete in future.
Competition is a great thing and it is fun to watch. The airline business is a constantly evolving one and this is proof of it. Fun times.
Never be proud. Always be grateful.