Boeing 787-10 To Be Assembled Exclusively in South Carolina

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Boeing's 787 line in Everett builds 10 airplanes a month. (Photo: Boeing)
July 30, 2014, 12:47 PM

Final assembly of the Boeing 787-10, the newest and longest member of the Dreamliner family of airplanes, will take place exclusively in North Charleston, S.C., the manufacturer announced today.

Boeing will continue to assemble both 787-8s and 787-9s in Everett, Wash., and North Charleston. Design of the 787-10 has started in Everett, and schedules call for final assembly of the first 787-10 to begin in South Carolina in 2017.

“We looked at all our options and found the most efficient and effective solution is to build the 787-10 at Boeing South Carolina,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes 787 program vice president and general manager Larry Loftis. “This will allow us to balance 787 production across the North Charleston and Everett sites as we increase production rates. We’re happy with our growth and success in South Carolina, and the continued success at both sites gives us confidence in our plan going forward.”

The 787-10 will be 18 feet (5.5 meters) longer than the 787-9. With 10 feet of that increase in the midbody section, the 787-10 midbody would not fit into Boeing’s Dreamliner cargo airplanes, meaning it would prove too long for efficient transport from North Charleston—the site of systems installation–to the Everett facility for final assembly, according to the company. Meanwhile, said Boeing, introducing the 787-10 in North Charleston takes advantage of that facility’s capacity while allowing the Everett facility to continue improving productivity on the 787-8 and 787-9.

The 787 production system includes three production lines: two in Everett (including a temporary surge line) and one in South Carolina. The integrated production system now operates at a production rate of 10 airplanes per month. Plans call for the 787 production rate to increase to 12 airplanes per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade.

The Everett facility will continue to assemble seven airplanes per month, while Boeing South Carolina final assembly will gradually increase from three 787s per month today to five per month in 2016 and seven per month by the end of the decade, said the company.

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