Boeing took another step to completing its first 787 with the successful transfer of Japanese built components to the USA on Friday.
The transport was completed today in Boeing’s only operational large cargo freighter (LCF), a modified 747-400 (pictured below) designed to ship large sections of the 787 around the manufacturer’s global production line. The flight comes five days after Boeing rolled-out the second of its three planned LCFs, dubbed Dreamlifters, at Taipei’s international airport.
With the flight from Centrair international airport in Nagoya to the manufacturer’s Seattle base, Boeing now has possession of section 43, the forward fuselage, and section 11/45, the centre wheel well and centre wing tank of its first 787. Boeing tells Flight this cargo will be kept on the aircraft while full load flight tests are conducted on LCF One.
Once tests are completed the sections will be transported to the US firm’s plant in Charleston, South Carolina, she adds. They will eventually be returned to the Everett, Washington for final assembly.
Section 43 was built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, while section 11/45 was made by KHI and Fuji Heavy Industries, and joined by KHI.
“Today is an exciting day for Boeing and our Japanese partners,” says 787 VP of airplane development and production Scott Strode in a statement. “Transporting these parts from FHI and KHI is the first step in assembling the first 787. We’re very pleased with how it went and with the quality of the parts received.”
Boeing adds that the loading “went perfectly, without a glitch”.
Separately, Boeing confirms that the second LCF will begin flight tests in the next several weeks. Unlike the first aircraft, the second LCF is in full Boeing white and blue livery. The launch aircraft will be painted sometime this quarter, adds the spokeswoman.