The 23rd 787 Dreamliner, flown from Everett, Wash., to San Antonio, Tex., last Friday, began undergoing so-called change incorporation work today at Boeing’s Global Services & Support site in San Antonio. The work marked the start of a process under which airplanes not expected to participate in the flight-test program undergo configuration changes to conform with standards established as part of type-certification efforts.
Plans call for three Dreamliners to complete change incorporation and three to undergo refurbishment in San Antonio upon the conclusion of flight testing. However, said Boeing, the plan “is flexible” and could accommodate more 787 production needs as testing reaches completion and the company prepares airplanes for delivery. Boeing plans to perform the work from this month through 2013.
Some of the work done in San Antonio will include installing electronic and mechanical equipment, completing software upgrades, testing functional systems, and removing and reworking wiring or equipment that needs updating to current configuration requirements. To complete the work, Boeing expects to add some 450 temporary employees to the 1,700 experienced workers at the site.
“The 787 team is thrilled to have the expertise and enthusiasm of the San Antonio team focused on getting these airplanes ready for delivery to our customers,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “We continuously look for ways to leverage the strength of the Boeing enterprise, taking advantage of the team and the skills we have across the company. San Antonio specializes in modification work and has the capability and capacity to get the job done. The team was a natural choice.”
About 1,500 employees at the San Antonio site perform maintenance and modification work on the following programs: KC-135 Programmed Depot Maintenance, KC-135 Global Air Traffic Management, C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership and the C-130 Avionics Modernization program.