Thursday, December 8, 2016

Boeing's North Charleston campus starts final assembly of first 787-10 Dreamliner



Boeing Co. said Thursday it has started final assembly of its first 787-10, the longest member of the Dreamliner twin-aisle family that will be made exclusively at the aerospace giant's North Charleston campus.

The announcement comes a little more than a week after Boeing moved the fuselage sections for the first 787-10 into the final assembly building at the North Charleston site. 

"As we enter the next phase of the 787-10's development, we eagerly watch our first airplane come to life," Ken Sanger, vice president and general manager of 787 development, said in a statement. "This is the result of years of preparation and solid performance by our Boeing teammates and supplier partners."

The first 787-10 will cycle through Boeing South Carolina's final assembly building as all major sections are joined, interior and exterior components completed, power turned on and production tests begin.

The first 787-10 is expected to fly in 2017 and the first delivery is scheduled for 2018. Singapore Airlines is scheduled to get the first delivery of a 787-10, although the first plane produced won't necessarily be the first delivered.

The 787-10 will be built only in North Charleston because its fuselage is too large to transport to Boeing's other Dreamliner manufacturing site in Everett, Wash. Production of the 787-8 and 787-9 models are split between the two facilities.

The North Charleston site's "unique position to assemble all three 787 variants means that its own development as a center of composite excellence gives engineers a great platform to both drive down costs ... while providing a more mature airplane when handed over to the flight test team in a matter of weeks," said Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based Strategic Aero Research.

As a stretch of the 787-9 model, the 787-10 will retain 95 percent commonality while adding seats and cargo capacity. Ahmad said that similarity should lead to a smooth integration of the new model into North Charleston's production system.

Boeing markets the plane as having 25 percent better fuel efficiency and lower emissions than the airplanes it will replace. It is the most expensive Dreamliner at a list price of $306.1 million, although buyers typically negotiate discounts.

Boeing has received 154 787-10 orders from nine customers. All told, there have been 1,210 orders through November for Boeing's Dreamliner family, with the 787-9 accounting for more than half of those sales. Boeing is expected to deliver its 500th Dreamliner before the end of this year.

Read more here:  http://www.postandcourier.com

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