AMERICAS: Second Dreamliner begins final assembly

Final assembly started last month on the second flight-test airplane for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. While this is the second of six flight-test airplanes, this Dreamliner is actually the fourth on the production line. It follows the two airplanes that will be used for static and fatigue testing. "We’ve received significantly less ¡®travelled work’ […]


Final assembly started last month on the second flight-test airplane for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. While this is the second of six flight-test airplanes, this Dreamliner is actually the fourth on the production line. It follows the two airplanes that will be used for static and fatigue testing.

"We’ve received significantly less ¡®travelled work’ on this airplane," said Steve Westby, vice president of 787 Final Assembly and Change Incorporation. "Th e degree of completeness of sections at the partners is significantly better than Airplane #1. Condition of assembly is much better and we will see continued improvements on the condition of each assembly shipped. All this helps to bring us back into alignment with the original design of our production system."

Boeing faces increasing customer ire after announcing last month a second delay for the 787, pushing first deliveries back to early 2009, about nine months behind schedule. Boeing’s problems with the 787 mirror those of Airbus, whose A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, was delayed two years before the first delivery last October to Singapore Airlines.

Currently 21 B787 airplanes are in various stages of production. Th is number includes the static and fatigue airplanes, which will not be delivered to customers. Since its launch in April 2004, the 787 Dreamliner has amassed 857 firm orders valued at US$144 billion from 56 airlines.