Thursday, June 12, 2008

787 Production moves ahead

In the last few days Boeing and it's partners have been providing the media with great access to the other partner sites in the US, specifically North Charleston where Vought builds section 47/48 (the rear fuselage) and Global Aeronautica (Boeing-Alenia venture) assembles the main fuselage; and Wichita where Spirit Aerostructures builds section 41 (forward fuselage).

Here Boeing and its partners are eager to show the progress at overcoming the production issues that have hobbled the 787 program..

For example, Jon Ostrower too this picture of the flight deck of Dreamliner 3 during the media day in Everett.

Now compare that to the picture of the flight deck of Dreamliner 4 which Jon has taken today and posted on his blog site. Section 41 for LN 4 is virtually 100% complete according to Jon and will be shipping to Everett on June 19th. This is also the same day that ZY998 the fatigue test frame is pulled out of building 40-26 at Everett and placed into 40-24 (767 line). Jon also said they Spirit is already building the section for LN 22.

This means no traveled work (or very small bits and pieces of traveled work at the most) for section 41. Now what about the other sections. Well it's expected that Global Aeronautica will be shipping 100% complete main fuselage sections starting with LN 8. I think this won't happen until September of this year. Vought, who had been the source of frustration for many at Boeing actually has com along extremely well and is expected to start shipping complete rear fusealge sections with LN 5 (the first GEnx powered 787). That probably won't happen until sometime next month. Reduction of all this traveled work is going to go a long way of validating Boeing 787 construction approach and will set them up to raise production rates. The wings are also arriving in substantially better condition though it not known how much traveled work come with them.

So starting with LN 8, it is possible that almost all if not 100% of traveled work can be eliminated.

When that happens is anyones guess though it is possible that as time goes on and there is more and more confidence in the supply chain Boeing can up the production rate in order to catch up deliveries as much as possible.

Soon after the 19th Boeing will start final assembly of LN 4 after LN 2 and LN 3 are moved down the line. Wants important at this stage is that workers currently working on LN 3 won't move with it but will stay at the first position to work on LN 4. This means that the final assembly line will start doing what it was designed to do.

1 comment:

zaf511 said...

Glad to see this kind of forward progress and momentum for the 787 program. Thanks for the info!