Boeing resumes 787 production

Washington DC
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

Boeing has resumed 787 production after a two-month freeze that focused on replacing thousands of misplaced or errant fasteners embedded in every fuselage.

Boeing on 29 January joined the major sections for ZA005, the fifth airplane designated for flight test and the first powered by the General Electric GEnx-1B.

"This airplane signifies our return to a steady production rhythm," Jack Jones, VP of 787 final assembly and change incorporation, says in a statement.

Boeing also announced completing fastener rework on ZA001. However, rework remains uncompleted on the second, third and fourth flight test aircraft, although ZA002 is "nearly complete".

Meanwhile, the sixth and last flight test aircraft, ZA006, remains in production at Boeing's various partner sites in Japan, South Carolina and Italy.

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney explained on 28 January that ZA006 is scheduled to fly within four months of first flight by ZA001. The 787b test fleet must complete more than 3,000 hours of flight tests and a similar number of ground tests before first delivery, now scheduled for the first quarter of 2010.

Boeing restored power on ZA001 earlier this week. Meanwhile, ZA002 is loaded with two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines in the fourth assembly position. It is followed by ZA003 and ZA004 in the third and second positions, respectively.

Since August, Boeing's 787 production line has been disrupted first by a 57-day work stoppage by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), and second by the fastener problem.