According to sources, a mishap while assembling the mid body fuselage for ZA388 (L/N 154) for China Southern Airlines forced Boeing to re-shuffle the firing order at Boeing Charleston. Details are unknown but the mishap, which took place in building 88-20, caused extensive damage to the mid body fuselage section. The damage was severe enough that Boeing had to pull manufacturing techs from the final assembly line to help with the re-work with many technicians putting in overtime to get this fuselage section completed. This airplane was scheduled to start final assembly during the 3rd week of November but it was pushed back to the first week of December. Boeing, however, was unable to complete the re-work in time and forced the re-shuffling of the final assembly order.
Currently, ZA 244 (L/N 158, VT-ANP) for Air India is loaded in position 1 in 88-30 while the re-work in 88-20 continues and is expected to be completed shortly.
After inspection and review of all the re-work on mid body for L/N 154, it should enter final assembly later this month.
Boeing integrates different fuselage sections built in Japan and Italy into one large main fuselage section in the 88-20 building.
This incident also has played havoc with Boeing's 787 final assembly schedule for Charleston as the final assembly of follow 787 in Charleston had to be pushed back. Subsequently, Boeing MTs in Charleston may have to put in overtime in order to make up the lost time and get the schedule back on track.
Lastly, Boeing did fly a 787 out of Charleston to be painted. While Boeing regularly does this, the difference was the aircraft was flown to Portland, OR where the company does have paint facilities and not to Ft. Worth. It was pointed out by a reader that this may be due to the severe winter weather being experienced in Texas. Boeing has a contract with Leading Edge Completions of Ft. Worth, Tx. to paint all Charleston built 787s. There still is one 787 (ZA469, L/N 129, A7-BCH) for Qatar Airways at Leading Edge which flew there three weeks ago. Either the weather has delayed its return or there was some issue with the paint job that Qatar objected to or there was technical issue with the aircraft itself.
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