Boeing has started final assembly of its first B787-10 Dreamliner, the biggest aircraft in the B787 family, 68.3 metres long with seating for about 330 passengers.
The B787-10 will also have the shortest range of all the B787 variants, about 6430 nautical miles (11,908 kilometres). That’s long-range enough to fly from Sydney to Bangkok, Singapore or Delhi.
Major assembly of the first B787-10 began in Nagoya, Japan, in March this year, with Boeing partner Kawasaki Heavy Industries starting to install circular frames into the fuselage. The first planes are scheduled for delivery in 2018, first to Singapore Airlines and then to United Airlines.
The first B787-10 will cycle through Boeing South Carolina’s Final Assembly facility as all major sections are joined, interior and exterior components completed, power turned on and production tests begin.
“As we enter the next phase of the 787-10’s development, we eagerly watch our first airplane come to life,” said Ken Sanger, vice president and general manager, 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“This is the result of years of preparation and solid performance by our Boeing teammates and supplier partners. This achievement is another example that demonstrates Boeing’s ability to develop great airplanes in a disciplined fashion in order to meet our customer commitments.”
The first B787-10 is expected to fly in 2017 and first delivery is scheduled for 2018.
The B787-10 is the third member of the super-efficient and passenger-popular B787 Dreamliner family. As a stretch of the B787-9, the B787-10 will retain 95% commonality while adding seats and cargo capacity.
Boeing says it will set a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics – 25% better fuel per seat and emissions than the aircraft it will replace. To date, Boeing has received 154 787-10 orders from nine customers.
Written by Peter Needham