Boeing rolled out the first 787-10 widebody airliner assembled at its North Charleston, South Carolina, facility on February 17 in a rousing ceremony headlined by U.S. President Donald Trump. The longest variant of the Dreamliner family, the 787-10 now begins the flight-test phase in advance of planned first deliveries next year.
With the deep blue and white fuselage of the first 787-10 serving as a backdrop, Trump, who was introduced by Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, delivered a campaign-style speech that emphasized his “America first” philosophy. “I have to say, that is one beautiful airplane,” the president said, motioning toward the Dreamliner. “What an amazing piece of art; what an amazing piece of work.”
In his 16-minute speech, Trump made references to the Boeing 747-8 that will serve as the new Air Force One around 2023, and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet that has been held up lately as competition for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II.
“We’re going to rebuild our military,” Trump told the audience of several thousand Boeing employees and visitors. “By the way, do you care if we use the F-18 Super Hornets? We are looking seriously at a big order,” he added.
Boeing staged the roll-out ceremony two days after production workers in South Carolina decisively voted against joining the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, maintaining their status as a non-union shop. The manufacturer assembles Dreamliners at both its Everett, Wash., and North Charleston facilities, but the 787-10 will be assembled exclusively in South Carolina.
With seating for up to 330 passengers, the 787-10 is 18 feet longer than the 787-9 Dreamliner, but retains 95 percent design and build commonality with the earlier version. Boeing lists the 787-10’s range at 6,430 nm, while the 787-9 operates to a range of 8,500 nm. The manufacturer currently has 149 orders from nine airline customers for the 787-10.