Dreamliners Come Out to Play…Briefly

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

Part Two (six photos)
Part Three (six photos)

Update 8:55 PM ET:

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MANY MORE BELOW THE FOLDUpdate 8:29 PM ET:
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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.
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12 Responses to Dreamliners Come Out to Play…Briefly

  1. Mathew McBride April 25, 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    Just to check my eyes are operating correctly, is Dreamliner One engineless?

    Many thanks to Jon and Charles!

  2. Pedro April 25, 2008 at 8:50 pm #

    The engines are the absolute last thing you put on an airplane.

  3. Chris Wallace April 25, 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    Good to see them on their own legs and moving, even if it’s just a few hundred meters.

  4. TomB April 25, 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    Jon, I thought they weren’t going to do the wing bend test because of the glass and fiber going all over and the cleanup of all that glass and fiber would cost to much?

  5. dreamliner slave April 26, 2008 at 6:43 am #

    Hey! I can see myself! I was going to post on airliners.net, but since they ask for money and I’m a relatively new hire saving for an upcoming strike…no way I’m paying to post in a public forum. Anyway, the wing-to-body fairings don’t have any panels on the cage structure because of the systems yet to be installed in them. They have nothing to do with the fix being applied to the center wing box. That is 100% an internal fix.

    And to reply to someone who posted that there’s a RAT installed on AP1…I personally lifted it (with a bit of help from others) and guided it into place. We had to do some…ah…modifications to it so it would fit. Stupid out of sequence work!

    I would also like to add that the atmosphere in the factory was rather somber as AP1′s current state is an embarrassment to us on the factory floor. And boy did it look worse than I thought it would in the sunlight! Anyway, can’t talk about much more than that. Nice pictures. Waiting to find the ones taken by the guy who pulled up on the freeway in the brown truck.

  6. Blu Yonder April 26, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    So Boeing didn’t learn from the last B787 stroll! I bet the customers were so excited seeing what looks like a sad, bruised bird, when they should be having their own promised ones soon! But hey the cockpit windows look cool, bet they give the B787 more range than the A350.
    Please, Boeing can you get the bird flying and do what you promised?

  7. TomB April 26, 2008 at 10:24 am #

    Thanks for the reply, Anonymous.

  8. Commuterob April 26, 2008 at 11:33 am #

    Can’t wait to finally see the DelayLiner reach for the skys, just hope its sooner rather than later

  9. Airplane builder (ret'd) April 26, 2008 at 4:48 pm #

    See also Fortune photos. I am rather surprised to see that the staging under the wings is made of ordinary builders scaffolding; looks temporary, as does all the equipment, desks, cages etc. An awful lot stuff to move each time the line moves. Surely this is not the final assembly line set up to suit the original production schedule. One would have imagined a moving line with permanent staging ready for the first airplane, or is that somewher else?

  10. Blu Yonder April 27, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

    “”So Boeing didn’t learn from the last B787 stroll!”

    And how else exactly did you expect them to get the other aircraft out? They weren’t doing this for a show, they were doing it because it needed to be done…”

    Very organised indeed.

    Good Luck guys..really

  11. Scouse Flyer April 28, 2008 at 4:40 am #

    “See also Fortune photos. I am rather surprised to see that the staging under the wings is made of ordinary builders scaffolding; looks temporary, as does all the equipment, desks, cages etc. An awful lot stuff to move each time the line moves. Surely this is not the final assembly line set up to suit the original production schedule. One would have imagined a moving line with permanent staging ready for the first airplane, or is that somewher else? ”

    I’m guessing (thought not sure) that this staging is only required because these birds are being built differantly to normal (travelled work) when the planes are being snapped together later on it won’t be required.

  12. Richmond Home Builders June 28, 2010 at 4:49 am #

    Thank you for a great post