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Boeing opening third 787 Dreamliner assembly line

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Aug. 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm with No Comments »
August 28, 2012 3:54 pm

Hoping to meet its goal of building 10 of its new composite bodied 787 Dreamliners a month by 2014, Boeing has opened up its third Dreamliner final assembly line.

The assembly line is the second for the Dreamliner at Boeing’s Everett plant where the original Dreamliner assembly line is producing some 3.5 of the new planes a month. A second assembly line opened last year in North Charleston, S.C. That assembly line rolled out its first 787 this spring.

787 Assembly line
Boeing’s first Everett 787 assembly line

Boeing is beginning assembly of the 80th Dreamliner on the second Everett line. It has delivered 17 Dreamliners since it presented its first one to All Nippon Airways last fall.

The second Everett line uses space once utilized for assembly of the 767 jet. Assembly of that plane has been moved to another section of the assembly building.

The second line, Boeing has said, was always intended to be a “surge” line for increasing Dreamliner production in times of high demand. Boeing has orders for 824 787s. Its deliveries are now more than three years behind schedule.

The company originally intended to have only a single Dreamliner assembly line with each plane taking only three days to put together from large subassemblies built by major Boeing partners. That plan failed because the partner companies were unable to build the major sections of the planes quickly enough and because they failed to finish work on those major sections before shipping them to Boeing.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Ostrower wrote today that Boeing insiders are telling him that the second line ultimately will produce the 787-9, the second version of the Dreamliner. The first of those planes has yet to be built. The 787-9 is about 30 seats larger than the base version, the 787-8.

The company wants to push Dreamliner production to 14 monthly. Once Dreamliner production is well-established, the company will build 7 monthly in Everett and South Carolina.

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