787 - condition of assembly


Boeing’s earning call earlier today (July 25) provides an opportunity for me to show recent photos taken of the 787 production line in Everett’s Blg 40-26. The photos were taken last month but embargoed until the Farnborough air show, and graphically illustrate the improved condition of assembly (COA) of airframes as the travel down the line.

Line 70 (ZA182) for Japan Airlines, shown here in the MOATT position 1, for example, has only around 160 ‘open jobs’ left on it as it progresses to completion.


This aircraft (above) destined for LAN of Chile, Line 68, was pictured in position 3. Note the higher level of completion of this aircraft with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine installed, and wing trailing edge fitted and intact. Compare this to a photo of Line 45, (below) a United aircraft, taken in the same position last September. Note the engines have yet to be attached and ballast hangs in their place, only the flaperon is attached to the trailing edge and large areas of the pylon-strut attachment and wing-to-body fairing have yet to be closed out.


Another good visual indication of the improving COA is the condition of the Section 41 noses arriving from Spirit in Wichita. Here the forward section of Line 71 is ready to be loaded onto the line at ‘position zero’.

Boeing expects to deliver as many as 42 787s by the end of the year and, with 11 delivered so far, this means a busy five months to go. Around half of the remaining 24 to 31 aircraft still to be delivered in 2012 will come directly off the lines at Everett and Charleston while the balance will come from the Everett Modification Center (EMC) following change incorporation.

Line 67 for ANA moves down the line.

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