Boeing has started final assembly of the second of six flight test aircraft for the 787 programme, passing a critical milestone after months of production delays.
The arrival of the second 787's subassemblies from six major suppliers also marked another critical step, with each of the sections in much healthier shape than previous shipments.
“The degree of completeness of sections at the partners is significantly better than Airplane One,” says Steve Westby, vice-president of 787 final assembly and change incorporation. “Condition of assembly is much better and we will see continued improvements on the condition of each assembly shipped.”
The second 787, now in the major join position at the final assembly facility Everett in Washington, is the fourth on the production line. It follows the static-test and fatigue-test airframes, now also in final assembly.
Meanwhile, the global 787 manufacturing team has 21 aircraft in various stages of production.
More than eight months have passed since the roll-out of for the first 787 on July 8. A production-system breakdown discovered shortly afterwards eventually pushed the first flight from August 2007 to June 2008, and first delivery from May 2008 to early 2009.