Boeing has announced that it’s moving final assembly of the 787-10 “exclusively” to North Charleston, SC, citing logistics.
According to the company’s announcement:
The 787-10 will be 18 feet (5.5 meters) longer than the 787-9. With 10 feet (3 meters) of that increase in the midbody section, the 787-10 midbody is too long to be transported efficiently from North Charleston, where systems integration work is performed, to the Everett facility for final assembly. In addition, introducing the 787-10 in North Charleston takes advantage of that facility’s capacity while allowing the Everett facility to continue improving productivity as it focuses on the 787-8 and 787-9.
Boeing is ratcheting up production of the 787 to meet demand in three facilities in all, two in Everett (one of which is a temporary surge line) and the South Carolina facility where the 787-10 will now grow up and get ready to hit the skies. It can’t hurt that South Carolina has a powerful Aerospace base too, with some key line-fit suppliers located nearby. The Palmetto State has made great strides to attract aerospace business and with this commitment from Boeing those investments are paying off big.
And, whatever the accent, at either at Everett or North Charleston, Boeing employees get to work in a lovely place. Boeing’s focus is on the advantages for completion of this airplane, split between the two facilities.
“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 Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “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.”
Right now the 787 has a production rate of 10 airplanes per month, but Boeing has announced the 787 production rate will increase to 12 airplanes per month in 2016 and 14 per month by 2020.
The Everett facility will continue to assemble seven airplanes per month, while Boeing South Carolina final assembly will increase from three 787s per month to five per month by 2016 and seven per month by the end of the decade.
The 787-10 has won 132 orders from six global customers.