May 12, 2007 The 787 Dreamliner is the fastest-selling airplane in aviation history, with firm orders for 567 airplanes from 44 airlines. Perhaps even more intriguingly, it required a complete redesign of an existing plane to create the Large Cargo Freighter just to carry the parts in from suppliers so that its advanced construction technique could be implemented. We’ve covered the story from conception to now (here, here and here), the point where the first of the large composite fuselage sections have begun arriving at Boeing’s Everett plant for assembly.The all-composite forward section, known as section 41 and shown here wrapped in white, is manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems at its facility in Kansas. The complex structure is 21 feet in diameter and 42 feet long. Its landing gear is installed.
Sections 47 and 48, wrapped in black, are the two aft composite sections of fuselage for the Dreamliner. They were manufactured and joined by Vought Aircraft Industries at its facility in Charleston, S.C. Section 47 is 23 feet long and 19 feet in diameter while section 48 measures 15 feet long and 14 feet in diameter.
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The sections were delivered to Boeing early this morning via the Dreamlifter, a specially modified 747-400 used to transport 787 major assemblies. The aircraft arrived at 6:39 a.m. local time. The major assemblies were immediately unloaded and delivered to the 787 final assembly factory.
"Today's delivery represents more than 40 percent of the 787's fuselage structure," said Scott Strode, 787 vice president of Airplane Definition and Production. "We now have all the major structure for the rear of the airplane, and its distinctive nose. The Dreamliner is beginning to take shape."
These are the second and third pieces of major structure delivered by the Dreamlifter in recent weeks. The horizontal stabilizer arrived on April 25.