Assembling 747-8 – June 29 – Prepping for final body join

section44join_560.jpg

Consider this a bit of catch up over the last several weeks on 747-8 progress. I wanted to bring you the latest on what’s going on with the first 747-8 Freighter – RC501 – coming together in Everett right now.

cranemove_560.jpgLast this page left the new jumbo jet, the forward fuselage was making the trip on May 17th from Building 40-23 back over to 40-21/22 for sealing and testing.

When the first stub join was completed, the wings were “flown” from the join position to the seal on the afternoon of June 7th. The crane, actually two cranes, that lifted the wings represented a record for Boeing after more than 40 years of 747 production. According to one source, the two cranes lifted 149,300 lbs. before placing the wings into the seal area.
 
Eleven days later, Boeing had the second set of wings in the stub join area. Which brings us to last week when the bonnet Section 44 was lowered into position over the center wing box on June 25th to begin the wing-to-body join.

winglaydown_560.jpgNext will be the final body join that will see the wings flying to the next assembly position for mating to the forward and aft fuselage sections by the end of August or so, says Boeing.

Program sources also indicate that two of four General Electric GEnx-2Bengines have been delivered to final assembly. Final certification ofthe engine is expected to happen around October. Finally, the blended raked winglets will be added once the aircraft is moved to the slant position at the head of Building 40-22 because the wings would be wider than the join area!

Photo Credit Boeing

10 Responses to Assembling 747-8 – June 29 – Prepping for final body join

  1. CBL June 29, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Nice update.
    It is funny how each time that the 787 is in ‘trouble’ we get update on the 748.
    What about the latest delay to come for this program, as already suggested elsewhere? (http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/787-first-flight-delay-perspective/ for example)
    Have also read of further over-weight and fuel burn problem, any update on this?

  2. Rick June 29, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    Maybe the 787 engineers should take a walk down to the other end of the building and watch how wings are supposed to be assembled to an aircraft… (I kid, I kid!)

    But seriously, this is a great milestone for what will always be my favorite aircraft. Long live the 747!

    -Rick

  3. Gorbi June 30, 2009 at 2:18 am #

    Aw c’mon CBL … this was NEWSWORTHY blogging here today.

    There were press releases left and right on the 747-8 wing/fuselage join – Jon didn’t just “pull this out of the hat” to placate Boeing supporters and silence the naysayers.

    Having said that (and believe me, I HATE using that over-worn phrase but it applies here), I do believe that there is a very distinct possibility that the 747-8F may well fly BEFORE the 787-8 does.

    Now there!!!

  4. Giom June 30, 2009 at 4:17 am #

    Great news for the 747. I’m almost more excited to see this plane fly as I am about the 787s first flight. This new Jumbo is going to look awsome with its big engins and slender figure.

  5. Tim June 30, 2009 at 4:50 am #

    There’s a steady stream of news coming out about the 747-8 as it progresses through final assembly, not just now that we’ve had the lastest 787 delay. The news continued while we apparently headed full steam ahead towards the 787′s first flight.

  6. CBL June 30, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    Guys, no doubt about John’s integrity, he is so far an A+ journalist.
    What I was referring to was the way Boein always release new pictures or statements each time that they know a major problem regarding the 787 is going to leak in the media.
    It is a common technique but I do think that Boeing should be more proactive than reactive of disperssive on its communication.
    There is no doubt that the 748 could (and will) fly before the 787. If what has been reported here is true regarding the problems to the ‘side-of-the-airplane’, there is going to be a major delay that should push a flight easily a year from now.

  7. CBL June 30, 2009 at 7:45 am #

    Guys, no doubt about John’s integrity, he has so far shown to be an A+ journalist.
    What I was referring to was the way Boein always release new pictures or statements each time that they know a major problem regarding the 787 is going to leak in the media.
    It is a common technique but I do think that Boeing should be more proactive than reactive of disperssive on its communication.
    There is no doubt that the 748 could (and will) fly before the 787. If what has been reported here is true regarding the problems to the ‘side-of-the-airplane’, there is going to be a major delay that should push a flight easily a year from now.

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