Monday, November 24, 2014

Boeing announces the start of final assembly of 1st Charleston built 787-9

First Charleston Built 787-9 for United Airlines.  Boeing Photo
Boeing announced the start of final assembly on the first 787-9 to be built at their North Charleston facility and which will ultimately be delivered to United Airlines in about 3 months time.  The aircraft, ZB170 (LN270, N35953) was loaded into position 1A on November 23rd according to my sources.

Boeing is aggressively expanding its footprint in the North Charleston area and plans to build all three version of the 787 at the plant.

Here is Boeing's press release on the start of final assembly of ZB170.

Boeing South Carolina Begins Final Assembly of its First 787-9 Dreamliner

North Charleston site joins Everett, Wash., team in building newest 787


NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 Nov. 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and another sign of stability for the program.  
The North Charleston, S.C., site joins Boeing's Everett, Wash., final assembly, which began 787-9 production in May 2013. United Airlines will take delivery of the first South Carolina-built 787-9. 
"Our team is well prepared and eager to assemble the 787-9 Dreamliner," said Jack Jones, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina. "Achieving this significant milestone in our final assembly operations demonstrates that we're performing well here at Boeing South Carolina. We're looking forward to delivering our first South Carolina-built 787-9 to United Airlines, and delivering 787-9s as well as 787-8s to all our customers." 
The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters), the 787-9 can fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 450 nautical miles (830 kilometers) with the same exceptional environmental performance – 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes it replaces. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passenger-pleasing features such as large, dimmable windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

18 comments:

ce said...

The photo shows the aircraft at position 1A?

I would expect at the 1st position a couple of disjoint sections lying around. It looks almost completed. And you said they only started it yesterday?

larmeyers said...

Maybe this is as simple as the need to avoid painting over all of the little holes in the Hybrid Laminar Flow Control system, but does anyone have any specifics as to why each -9 has a pre-painted vertical stabilizer prior to final assembly? Is the HLFC a possible upgrade to the -8 down the line?

Vab Andleigh said...


@larmeyers

The vertical stabilizer is prepainted because the weight of the paint affects the balance of the aircraft, and they need this properly calibrated as they build the aircraft.

I think you can find some forum discussions on this if you google "prepainted vertical stabilizer 787"

Fedupjohn said...

My Response is "WOW" and I'm and EE!

BoredEngr1013 said...

The rudder is pre-painted due to weight/balance, the vertical fin in the -9 is pre-painted because the paint thickness requirements are much tighter due to the HLFC.

larmeyers said...

Vab Andleigh, thanks! that's really interesting.

TravelingMan said...

Airbus is getting new orders for their A320neo pretty much all the time. Boeing would be wise to hurry up the production schedule of the 737max or they'll fall farther behind than they already are in the single aisle market. Airbus is killing them right now.

David Jay said...

Let's see:

In the last 3 months (Sept-Nov) Boeing has received 330 commitments (200 firm, 130 options) for 737MAX.

Total 737MAX backlog exceeds 2300 aircraft.

Yep, they're dyin' ...

ce said...

The right perspective on 737MAX vs 320neo:

The MAX is roughly behind 1k orders, which are two years' worth of production at the current rates. But the MAX's delivery will start about two years after the neo, which explains away the difference in orders.

Bonus video - Polish LOT Airlines celebrates their 500,000th Dreamliner customer - worth watching like a Hollywood musical:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRti7YgR2u8

Piotrek_ said...

Ln11 is in stall 106:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/woodysaeroimages/15307404554/

1coolguy1 said...

November deliveries were 6 - Ooops!

Piotrek_ said...

LN12 is in outside position of the EMC again:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moonm/15900074226/

ce said...

"November deliveries were 6 - Ooops!"

They'll almost certainly make it up in December.

TravelingMan said...

Interesting article about Boeing vs. Airbus 2014 orders and deliveries.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/05/us-airbus-boeing-orders-idUSKCN0JJ11U20141205

1coolguy1 said...

The number of test flights prior to delivery have fallen over the past 2 months - does this indicate the software is now mature so there are are fewer anomalies?

ce said...

"Mr Luxon said Air NZ's 787-9s, which fly to Perth and Asian destinations, had performed better than expected."

-- from this article:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/aviation/air-new-zealand-bumps-up-fleet-and-looks-at-destinations-in-us-south-america-20141208-122re6.html

Piotrek_ said...

After this production firing order update, I'm nearly sure about LN12 and LN13 customer - LOT Polish Airlines. Due to CEO Mikosz, LOT will take one delivery in late 2015 and one in March 2016.

ce said...

@Piotrek

Are you sure? If you are Mikosz's cousin, care to share with us a bit more details?