This afternoon in Everett, two 787 Dreamliners made a special daylight appearance on a very special anniversary. Today, April 25, 2008, marks one year since major structural components began arriving for assembly of Dreamliner One in Everett. One year later, the static airframe, ZY997, moves out for its brief journey to its new home in Building 40-23, three (very large) doors down. The static airframe will undergo rigorous testing to determine the structural strength of the 787, this includes the infamous wing bend test.
Dreamliner One was towed out of Building 40-26 and parked briefly on the southeast corner of the ramp in front of the massive Boeing factory building. Today’s rollout marks the first daylight appearance of ZA001 since July 8, 2007.
The first 787, which is expected to take to the skies in late October, was returned to the factory at assembly position four. The fatigue airframe, ZY998, will roll to assembly position three followed by Dreamliner Two, which will move forward for the first time to assembly position two. With the primary assembly station vacant, major structural sections for Dreamliner Three, all of which have arrived as of this morning, will be loaded in the body join tooling to begin final assembly.
Photos are all courtesy of, and a very special thanks to, Charles Conklin
Update 8:55 PM ET:
This picture, taken just before being rolled back into the factory, shows Dreamliner One outside. MANY more pictures to come. Taken at 4:18 PM local time.