Monday, January 26, 2009

Gettin' Busy in the 787 Program

The 787 is getting busy through out the world. Information that I got says that there has been a tremendous amount of resources thrown at Dreamliner 1 and Dreamliner 2 to those two aircraft finished. LN 2 though as not been powered up and probably won't be until well after it is done with vibration testing.

Additionally Dreamliner 5 will start final assembly today and not tomorrow or Wedensday as I first thought. Section 41 (forward fuselage section) is already in position at the join tool and looks like the main fusealge will follow suit shortly.

Lastly, there has been an uptempo of LCF (Dreamlifter) flights. between the major partners which strongly suggests that the 787 production system is getting ramped up again. I've been tracking flight between Charleston, Nagoya and Grottaglie aswell as Everett. I'll continue to look at this trend to see how frequent the flights are and if they LCFs are making any fueling stops (In Anchorage or the UK) which indicates the presence of fuselage sections or wings that are being transported from Japan and Italy.

However, just because these is an increase in LCF flights doesn't necessarily mean that parts are being transported between sites, however it does bode well now that Dreamliner 5 will start final assembly soon.

UPDATE: Scott Hamilton has a story out on the 6 test 787 flying with temporary fasteners for the test flight program. the temporary fasteners will be replaced when the 6 airplanes undergo post test flight modifications in San Antonio. Read Scott's report here.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add that the lack of a fuel stop in ANC or the UK on the return leg from Nagoya or Grottaglie doesn't mean that it does not carry any sections/parts for the 787.
If there is a fuel stop in ANC you can be pretty sure that the LCF is carrying the wings (the heavies parts.) They have made direct flights from Nagoya while carrying section 43 and 11+45.
They have also flown direct from Grottaglie with the horizontal stabilzer.

Uresh said...

You right when the LCF is transporting the fuselage sections from Japan or hte horizontal stab then a refueling stop is not needed. When it's transporting the fuselage sections from Italy or the wings then a refueling stop is necessary. Thanks for adding!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think that is the case here.
Glad to see that the ramping up is starting to move more in the direction that Boeing first thought of two years ago. Oh well, better late than never. Thanks again Uresh for reporting on this!