Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Charleston forges ahead

Boeing Photo

Boeing announced today that the first 787 to be built in their new plant in North Charleston has touched down on its wheels for the first time today. The weight on wheels means that this airplane will be rolled to the last final assembly spots for further assembly tasks. The airplane is destined for Air India and is designated ZA237, L/N 46. Boeing is expecting that this airplane should be delivered by mid -2012 but Jim Albaugh has indicated that it can be delivered earlier than that. It appears that this aircraft (from the photo above) is headed for the third position on the line where, according the the Boeing press release, it will receive mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems and under go testing. Presumably it will head to position 4 for interiors and engine installation.
Here's the Boeing press release:

Boeing South Carolina Site Achieves 787 Weight on Wheels Milestone

Production achievement marks continued momentum on first 787 built at site

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA)
announced today that its first South Carolina-built 787 put weight on wheels for the
first time on Dec. 18.

"Our Boeing South Carolina team has achieved another significant milestone, putting weight on wheels," said Jack Jones, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager. "This is a result of both great local talent and dedication and talent and knowledge assembled from across Boeing Commercial Airplanes."

The airplane moved on its landing gear, via tug, to the next production position where electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems installation and testing will continue over the next several weeks. Installation of the airplane's engines and interior will begin soon.

"To achieve weight on wheels just 24 months after breaking ground on this new facility is incredible," said Marco Cavazzoni, Boeing South Carolina Final Assembly and Delivery vice president and general manager.

"This is a great testament to what can be done when a well-trained, knowledgeable and highly motivated team focuses on a common goal."

Boeing South Carolina remains on schedule for its first 787 Dreamliner delivery in the first half of 2012.

Made from composite materials, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public. As a result of innovative technologies, the airplane offers unparalleled operating economics, fuel efficiency and passenger comfort. More than 800 787s are on order by more than 50 airlines, a testament to the airplane's unique capabilities.

In the background of the photograph is the next Dreamliner to be built at Charleston already in the wing-body join tooling in position 1. This airplane is ZA238, L/N 54 and is also destined for Air India.
In other news not too much is happening with the 787s at Everett though there seems to have been a lot of movement of the completed airframes from pictures on Matt Cawby's web site. ZA 104 made its first flight yesterday and Boeing, so far, is maintaining a delivery target for the end of this month. ZA116 had ANA pilots conducting radio checks today while ZA102 was supposed to conduct taxi tests now that it out of change incorporation. All three of these airplanes are scheduled for delivery late this month with ZA116's delivery coming up first. The next few days will be very interesting.


greg said...

ZA001 has retired, right?

Uresh said...


m jerbronis said...

what's the typical duration of 'final preps for delivery'?

Uresh said...

Given the state of each of the airplanes it will vary. There is no typical duration until all the travelled work and change incorporation is eliminated from the production system.

skywalker said...

Hi Uresh,

This is great work. Was wondering if the columns could be adjusted so all could be viewed in the window without scrolling? Also, shouldn't the disposition for ZA001 be "retired" and its location listed only as "Palmdale, CA"? Perhaps Z002 could be listed as "Production Demonstrator" located in N. Charleston and ZA003 be listed as "Customer Demonstrator." Each these aircraft are no longer in testing, correct?

Thanks again for all your hard work. Tracking the progress of the 787 would not be as much fun without this site!



Dave H@YVR said...

Hi Uresh
Just found your blog and Its fantastic, I wanted to bring to your attention that In the columns you have LN62 and LN64 both down as ZA463
I have 2 SBS Radarbox's running 24/7 In Vancouver, Canada and pick up all the Boeing test flights so If you ever need any flight Info just ask and I will be glad to help.

Dave H@YVR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.