Air India Boeing 787 GE-Nx Engine at Position 4 at Everett 787 Factory Final Assembly Line - 2011
These images were taken on a special press tour of the factory in September 2011 during the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Handover Event to launch customer ANA. Even though it was a Sunday, a crew on the floor was busy attending to the 4 787s on the "pulsing" assembly line. In positions 1-4 respectively were ANA's 16th aircraft, Ethiopian's 2nd, United's 1st, and an almost complete powered up Air India example. We were frankly told that Boeing is currently producing 2 Dreamliner's per month but that this will ramp up to 12 per month by the end of 2013. Once the new Charleston plant comes online, up to 288 aircraft will be built per year which means it will take up to 5-6 years to complete the back ordered 800 plus Dreamliners. On the floor, we were able to fully appreciate that Everett had become more of a final assembly facility for the 787 as we saw individual components from outsorced suppliers in position 1 awaiting mating: virtually complete Section 41's forward fuselages and flight deck (from Boeing/Spirit in Wichita), Mid/aft bodies (from Vought/Alenia now Boeing in Charleston), wings from Mitsubishi in Japan, tailcones from KAL in Korea, etc. The outsourcing was a key factor in the program delays, so much so that Boeing purchased two suppliers 787 operations: Vought and Alenia and pledged that future new aircraft won't be outsourced to this extent.