Boeing 787 Achieves Weight On Wheels Milestone


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Boeing 787 Achieves Weight On Wheels Milestone

By Shane Nolan

December 21, 2011 - Boeing announced Tuesday that its first South Carolina-built 787 put weight on wheels for the first time on December 18. "Our Boeing South Carolina team has achieved another significant milestone, putting weight on wheels," said Jack Jones, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager.

"This is a result of both great local talent and dedication and talent and knowledge assembled from across Boeing Commercial Airplanes." 

The airplane moved on its landing gear, via tug, to the next production position where electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems installation and testing will continue over the next several weeks. Installation of the airplane's engines and interior will begin soon.

"To achieve weight on wheels just 24 months after breaking ground on this new facility is incredible," said Marco Cavazzoni, Boeing South Carolina Final Assembly and Delivery vice president and general manager. "This is a great testament to what can be done when a well-trained, knowledgeable and highly motivated team focuses on a common goal."

Boeing South Carolina remains on schedule for its first 787 Dreamliner delivery in the first half of 2012.  The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It seats 210 to 290 passengers, depending on the variant. Boeing states that it is the company's most fuel-efficient airliner and the world's first major airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction. The 787 consumes 20% less fuel than the similarly-sized Boeing 767. Some of its distinguishing features include a four-panel windshield, noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles, and a smoother nose contour. 

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public. As a result of innovative technologies, the airplane offers unparalleled operating economics, fuel efficiency and passenger comfort. More than 800 787s are on order by more than 50 airlines, a testament to the airplane's unique capabilities. 

The 787 development and production has involved a large-scale collaboration with numerous suppliers around the globe. Final assembly is at the Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Washington. Aircraft will also be assembled at a new factory in North Charleston, South Carolina. Both sites will deliver 787s to airline customers. Originally planned to enter service in May 2008, the project has suffered from multiple delays. 

The airliner's maiden flight took place on December 15, 2009, and completed flight testing in mid-2011. Final Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency certification was received in late August 2011 and the first model was delivered in late September 2011. It entered commercial service on October 26, 2011.

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