Major assembly of the first Boeing 787-10 is underway, says Boeing.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries started installing circular frames into the midforward section of the fuselage on 14 March, two weeks ahead of schedule, the manufacturer adds.

The -10 will undergo final assembly in Charleston, South Carolina, and is scheduled for first delivery in 2018. The aircraft is a “straightforward stretch” of the 787-9, and the two variants’ design and build are 95% identical. The third and largest member of the 787 family, the aircraft will be powered by 76,000lb-thrust versions of the GE Aviation GEnx-1B and Rolls-Royce Trent 1000.

“We are taking all the right steps to ensure we integrate the 787-10 into the production system smoothly,” says Ken Sanger, vice-president of 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

In December 2015, Boeing cleared the -10 to transition from detailed design to the manufacturing assembly stage, also ahead of schedule.

Boeing says that it has 153 orders from nine customers for the -10, including Singapore Airlines, United Airlines and GECAS.

Source: Cirium Dashboard