Boeing restarts 787 structural deliveries

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Boeing has restarted structural deliveries to its 787 final assembly line in Everett, Washington, ending a month-long hold that was aimed at allowing its supply chain to catch up on design changes and part shortages.

The modified 747-400 large cargo freighter (LCF) restarted operations on 4 August with the delivery of the Section 41 forward fuselage for airplane 45 from Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, followed by the centre fuselage on 6 August from Boeing South Carolina.

Boeing said on 11 July it was holding in place 787 structural deliveries for 20 manufacturing days, the equivalent of a calendar month, the fifth time the company has done so since April 2010.

During the hold, production operations continued across the supply chain and included a partial line move that saw airplane 35 return to final assembly for additional work, while airplane 40, the most complete aircraft yet, moved to the company's newly-renamed Everett Modification Centre, formerly Boeing ATS or Factory South.

Resumption of deliveries continues the advance of 787 production toward its goal of 10 aircraft per month by the end of 2013, with the line running once again at two aircraft per month. Programme sources indicate that this rate is expected to advance to 2.5 by the month's end.

Boeing will deliver its first 787 to All Nippon Airways in September, with plans to deliver a combined total of 25 to 30 787s and 747-8s in 2011.