July 5, 2007

Building the Dreamliner

UPDATED: July 5 - 1:10pm EDT (updates are in blue)
All major Dreamliner structures have arrived in Everett, Washington. Deliveries were completed on May 16, 2007 with the arrival of the center fuselage from Charleston, SC. The major structures have traveled thousands of miles from across the globe and now reside at the largest building in the world (by volume) at Paine Field. The final assembly bay will officially be launched on May 21, 2007. Over the 39 days between assembly bay launch and rollout on July 8, 2007, the Dreamliner will be assembled piece by piece. Just as this site followed the journey of the parts to Everett, this post will be periodically updated to bring you the latest information on the status of the final assembly of the 787 Dreamliner.

787 Part Deliveries and Virtual Assembly Animation
(youtube full resolution - 42mb)
Flightblogger Exclusive

First Flight Window Opens
August 27, 2007

From the assembly floor:

Update 3 - June 25, 2007 - 10:25pm
Sources inside Boeing say, "There is not much left to do before moving to paint shop. All doors are installed. All slats, ailerons, flaps, and spoilers are installed. They are working on access doors on the wing." Another source says, "Most everything that will be "seen" is on the airplane, save for a few odds and ends."

According to the schedule Dreamliner One will head to the paint shop after 10:00pm PDT (1:00am EDT). The airplane movement from assembly shop to paint shop usually occurs after dark to minimize the distraction of the drivers on the freeway below the bridge.

Mike Bair said today, "The aircraft will be structurally complete at rollout but will still have systems, ducting, wiring and similar work to be done before first flight. When those tasks are completed, it will be powered up and proceed to ground test before it flies."

Update 2 - June 25, 2007 - 9:00am
Dreamliner One has been lowered onto its own landing gear for the first time and the tooling towers were being pulled back. Engine installation was complete and it should be heading to the paint shop today or tomorrow.

Update 1 - Early June
Reports of extended delay for the first flight in late August are largely unfounded. ZA001/LN1 is still on track to be sent to the paint shop on June 25. No changes have been made to the originally planned schedule. Staff changes at Vought have been happening for sometime including the dismissal of the VP in charge of the 787 program last week. The sentiment from the Boeing floor is that things are back on track at Vought and the next shipset is expected from Charleston in Everett between the 19th to the 21st of June. This assessment has been confirmed by Flight Global on June 12.

Seattle Based Media

Seattle P-I
May 22, 2007 - 787 Simulator Photo

KING5 Video
May 21, 2007 - How the 787 'Dreamliner' is being built
May 22, 2007 - Expect more comfort on the 787 Dreamliner

LN1/ZA001- RR powered and first to fly
- Major structure assembly is complete and Dreamliner One was brought to the paint shop on the night of June 26. It is expected to remain in the paint shop until around 2pm on 7/8/07.
- All major structures in Everett
- Undergoing final assembly, which officially began May 21
- System software v. 6.5 currently being tested. 6.7 to follow shortly.
- Will be entering the paint shop around June 25
- Will be delivered to ANA after refurbishment.
LN9997/ZY997 - no engines, systems, etc. - Static Test frame, Wing Break Test
- All sections will be "in house and workable" by July 8.
- Wing in production in Japan

- Section 47 and 48 currently in SC. (photo)
- Section 43, 45, 44 (photo) /46 delivered to Everett July 3.

- Section 41 delivered
to Everett July 3 (Production photo photo, photo 2)
- Tail fin now in assembly bay in Everett.
LN2/ZA002 - RR powered and test flight
- Section 43 and 11/45 arrived in Charleston on June 28.
- Section 44 and 46 arrived in Charleston from Italy on June 26.
- Wing in production in Japan

- Section 41 currently production in KS. (photo)
- Will be delivered to ANA after refurbishment.
LN9998/ZY998 - No engines, systems, etc. Fatigue test airframe.
- Section 48 currently in production in SC. (photo)
LN3/ZA003 - RR powered and test flight
- Section 41 currently production in KS. (photo)
- Will be delivered to Northwest after refurbishment.
LN4/ZA004 - RR powered and test flight
- Section 41 currently production in KS. (photo, photo 2)
- Will be delivered to Northwest after refurbishment.
- Section 41 in production in KS. (photo)
LN5/ZA005 - GE powered and test flight
- Section 41 currently production in KS. (photo)
- Will be delivered to Royal Air Maroc after refurbishment.
LN6/ZA006 - GE powered and test flight
- Section 41 currently production in KS. (photo)
- Will be delivered to Royal Air Maroc after refurbishment.
LN7/ZA007 - First to be delivered to ANA.
LN8/ZA008 - First to be delivered to Air China.

Production Line Explained
Boeing nomenclature changed for 787-8 program to ZA. 777 Test program wore WA. Test
ZA001, ZA002, LN3 and LN4 will be refurbished and delivered to ANA and Northwest. If anyone has additional clarification on the nomenclature changes, including designations for LN3 and LN4, please notify me.

Click image for expanded view

40-23 Building
- Full-scale static testing
40-36 Building - Pre-integration of wing parts
40-26 Building - Final assembly

Final Assembly Begins on First Boeing 787 Dreamliner
May 21, 2007

Photos Courtesy The Boeing Company

Vertical Stabilizer
- Installation of the vertical fin was completed as of June 21.
- As of June 20 the Vertical Fin was in position but not yet bolted down.
- Vertical fin installation was underway on June 18 to the body of the aircraft. It is expected to be completed by June 21.
- Rudder has been joined to the vertical stabilizer and moved to the final assembly area on June 13.

- Rudder has been painted in ANA livery. Not yet joined to tail fin. (photo late May)

- All windows have been installed.
- The aircraft is being sanded down in preparation for painting and as a result the airplane is losing the glossiness that it had. (June 22)
- Most of the wing to body fairing are attached as of June 22.
- Aft fuselage circumferential mating will be completed June 17.
On June 12 it was revealed by the Seattle Times that at the time Section 41 and 43 were initially joined there was a .3 inch gap as a result of distortion caused by pressure from the installation of interior fittings. The problem was quickly resolved, though may pose a problem for fully stuffed sections coming out of Wichita and Charleston in the future. Flightblogger is working on acquiring additional details.

- Aft fuselage has completed being drilled for attachment. There are ample fasteners for mating available.
- Passenger doors have been installed in the forward fuselage.

- Aft fuselage (Section 47/48) initially positioned in the rear of 40-36 building. (photo) Now moved into position for attachment to the center fuselage on the morning of June 1.
- Wiring and hydraulics are being installed in earnest.
- Nose and Center Fuselages were loaded into the final assembly rig on May 16, 2007.
Now joined as one piece. (photo)
- Many critical systems have not yet been installed. In the future, systems will be installed at sub-assemblies rather than in Everett.

Horizontal Stabilizer
- Elevators have been installed on the horizontal stabilizer. (June 22)
- The joining of the horizontal stabilizer/tail cone to the aft fuselage was confirmed completed on June 18, two days ahead of scheduled completion.
- Elevators are now on the factory floor.

- Horizontal stabilizer and tail cone are now joined and were moved into the final assembly area on June 13.

- Left and right horizontal stabilizers are now mated together and will be joined with Section 48 (aft fuselage).
- Tail cone was moved into position for attachment behind the horizontal stabilizer.
- Arrived "covered with pieces of blue tape, each piece indicating some kind of defect or area that needed attention." This is seen as a quality assurance issue that will be resolved in the future, but will require additional work.
- Both port and starboard horizontal stabilizers have been loaded next to one another and prepared for final connection. (photo)

- Ailerons, outboard flaps and slats have been installed on the wings. (June 22)
- Left and right engine pylon installation are confirmed completed on June 18.
- Wing-Body join was confirmed as completed on June 15.

- Movable trailing edges have arrived in Everett and are expected to be installed on the wings between June 21-25.
- Wing-Body join began on June 6. It is expected to take two weeks.
- Left wing moved to final assembly position on the afternoon of June 1, right wing on June 3.
- The wings are being aligned using laser guidance. Boeing is measuring the gaps and making shims to fill the gaps accordingly.
- Wings have completed pre-integration and have moved into final assembly position 1 for attachment to the wing box and fuselage.
- Winglet has been attached to the port wing. (photo)
- Unconfirmed: Wing box needed to be re-sealed. Details currently unknown.

Main Landing Gear
- Main gear are in position and installation is underway as of June 22. Installation will be complete by the morning of June 24.
- ZA001 jacked up on the floor in preparation for installation as of June 21.
- MLG installation began June 20. It should be completed by June 21. ZA001 will be on its own three legs by June 22.
- Main landing gear arrived on the factory floor the week of June 18.
- Wheels down date, meaning the 787 will be on its own landing gear, between June 21-25.

- Both engines have been installed. (June 25)
- Left engine has been installed. Right engine in position for installation. (June 22)

- Engines are being installed on June 22nd. ZA001 jacked up on the floor in preparation for installation.

- Two Trent 1000 engines are currently on the final assembly floor as of June 18.

shipped the first two Trent 1000s to Everett on June 7 and will be the final items attached.

All photos are courtesy of the Boeing Company unless otherwise stated.