The first Boeing 777F began final body join as the all-new long range freighter moves closer to taking to the skies later this quarter.
Sources familiar with the 777 program tell FlightBlogger that the body join process got underway today.
During the final body join, the forward, center and aft sections of the 777F fuselage will be mated together. The wings are attached to the center fuselage section, which is made up of Section 44 and the center wing box. Wing installation occurs before the 777 fuselage sections are mated to one another after they complete systems installation.
Installation of the cargo doors was completed as a part of the systems installation process.
Following the completion of the final body join, final assembly of the 777F is expected to begin along the moving production line later next week. The moving assembly line, which was launched in November 2006, moves at a speed of 1.6 inches per minute.
According to a source close to the 777 program, the first 777F is expected to make its first appearance on the Everett flight line around the middle of this month.
The second test flight 777F is expected to enter final body join in June.
Air France/KLM, launch customer for the 777F, is expected to receive its first of five freighters by the end of the year.
Image Credit The Boeing Company