Boeing will load the first 787-9 into position 1 in 40-24 on May 30. Sources revealed to me that this aircraft should transfer to position 2 around June 9...10 days after first being loaded into position 1 which is quite surprising since it takes about 11 to 12 days for each production 787-8 to progress down each line position. Extrapolated this could mean that ZB001 would be assembled in about 40 days if there are no complications during the final assembly process. I do expect it to be a little longer though due to systems integration testing during final assembly which would add about another week at most. Thus ZB001 could take about 7 weeks in final assembly before it is rolled out to the paint hangar and eventually the flightline to begin gauntlet testing. ZB001 could be out of 40-24 by the third to fourth week of July, another week for painting and out on the flightline in early August.
In somewhat related news on the production front, it does appear that Boeing will temporarily be slowing down 787-8 production as there looks to be some sort of construction going on within 40-26. I surmise that Boeing will be getting rid of or modifying some of the original production tooling in position 1. This would include the "MOATT" or "Mother Of All Tool Towers" which was envisioned as a device to quickly and efficiently join the fuselage sections along with the wings and horizontal and vertical stabilizers. Unfortunately the promise of MOATT didn't live up to the reality and Boeing is now using some more traditional tools like overhead cranes to move around some of the larger structures like the wings. These changes will ultimately help Boeing to get to 10/month but in the short term it will slow down production for a couple of weeks. Because of this ZA562 (LN 127) for ILFC/Aeromexico won't be loaded until after June 9th, perhaps the 10th. This shouldn't impact deliveries too much as Boeing is still trying to catch up on delayed deliveries due to the lithium ion battery issue which grounded the 787 and stopped deliveries.