Boeing will place the fabrication and assembly of its 787-9 horizontal stabiliser at its Salt Lake City, Utah facility along with secondary sourcing from 787-8 supplier Alenia Aeronautica.
The site, which will supply its first 787-9 structure to final assembly in the first quarter of 2013, currently serves as one of two Boeing sources for the 787-8's vertical stabiliser along with Frederickson, Washington.
Boeing will initially produce horizontal stabilisers for the stretched 787-9 out of its Seattle Advanced Developmental Composites facility, where it has been honing its updated centerline splice integral multispar box design.
First delivery from the Developmental Centre is expected in the fourth quarter of 2012, says Boeing, ahead of the start of final assembly of ZB001, the first 787-9, which is currently slated to be the 126th 787 built.
The lighter, easier to manufacture, design eliminates a centre box structure that was used to join the two stabilsers on the 787-8 configuration which was designed and is currently fabricated by Alenia at its Foggia, Italy plant.
Boeing Salt Lake will do assembly and integration work for a "majority of the initial production work" after the first units are delivered from Seattle, the company says, later transitioning to a split source between Alenia and Salt Lake for long-term production.
Boeing has not yet set a date for Alenia Aeronautica to supply its first 787-9 stabiliser, but remains the sole source provider for the smaller -8. Boeing was plagued with workmanship issues on the 787-8s stabiliser, contributing to the extended delays in the programme.
The Salt Lake facility is playing an increasingly important role in Boeing's 787 supply chain, having delivered its first 787-8 vertical stabilser for the third North Charleston, South Carolina- assembled 787.
Salt Lake was initially selected to duplicate the Frederickson facility's capability, now exclusively supplying vertical stabilisers to South Carolina to mitigate any disruption at its Everett, Washington facility.