Boeing to build 787-9 horizontal stabiliser

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Boeing will build the horizontal stabiliser for the Boeing 787-9 in its Seattle Developmental Centre, insourcing a key component for the larger Dreamliner that has plagued the assembly of the smaller -8 and ending speculation on whether it would deny the work from supplier Alenia Aeronautica.

Speaking at Boeing's 2011 Investor Day, Jim Albaugh, Commercial Airplanes CEO, included the 787-9 horizontal stabiliser in a list of items that have been insourced compared to the original 787-8 supply chain.

"We brought the horizontal stabiliser in for the -9, we're going to be doing some of that [work] in our Developmental Centre," he said. The centre will join Boeing's newly acquired aft fuselage fabrication and centre fuselage integration facilities in North Charleston, South Carolina, to produce insourced 787 parts.

The Foggia, Italy-built horizontal stabiliser for the 787-8 has suffered from manufacturing quality issues from the first units delivered to Boeing in 2007. This later resulted in time consuming rework of shims, causing a halt in deliveries to final assembly in summer 2010, and forcing the programme schedule to slip into 2011.

The Developmental Centre at the company's Boeing Field plant was most recently used for the manufacturing of the aft fuselage of the F-22 Raptor, but became available following the cancellation of the programme by the US Department of Defense.