May 8, 2008 Boeing has begun assembly on the third flight-test airplane for the 787 Dreamliner. A total of 857 Dreamliners have been ordered since the plane was announced in 2003, making it the fastest-selling wide body airliner in history. The first airplane to fly is on track for "power on" in June.
The Dreamliner is the first aircraft to be 80% composite by volume, making it lighter and more efficient than competitors. The flight-test airplane was the fifth Dreamliner to be loaded into the first position of the 787 production system. The fatigue test airframe and the second flight-test airplane have advanced to the next production stage. After assembly is complete, the interior of the airplane will be fitted.
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"We are receiving assemblies that are much more complete," said Jack Jones, vice president of 787 Final Assembly and Change Incorporation. "The second flight-test airplane had a 50 percent reduction in the amount of incomplete work as compared to the first airplane. 'Traveled work' on this airplane is 65 percent less than on the first." Jones stated that after the interior was installed, “we'll see the 787 in what is close to a final delivery configuration."
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