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Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems celebrated the public unveiling of the first all-composite demonstration nose section for the 787 Dreamliner earlier this week at Spirit’s Wichita facility, formerly a part of The Boeing Company.
The section, which is highly contoured, demonstrates the facility’s capabilities in meeting production demands for the 787. The nose is about 24 feet long and 18 feet in diameter, and a one-piece composite structure of a jetliner that, as one Boeing executive put it on Thursday, “”leads us through the skies.”” The company claim that the new nose represents a milestone in composite production.
“”We have built several demonstration fuselage sections of the airplane at our facilities in Seattle,”” said Mike Bair, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “”Our partners, including Spirit, have worked alongside Boeing personnel in Seattle so that we can all learn about the new methods of building aerostructure. It’s very rewarding to see the knowledge that was developed jointly by the global 787 team is being applied in the actual production facilities where the 787 will be manufactured.””
Four additional fuselage sections – including two more nose sections to be built by Spirit – are scheduled to be completed before production of the first 787 begins next year. These are expected to be 43 feet long, about twice as long as the first Section pictured.
First flight of the Dreamliner should come in the summer of 2007, with delivery to the first customer, All Nippon Airways of Japan, in mid-2008.
20 airlines from around the world have purchased the Dreamliner with orders and commitments for the 787 since its launch last year now totalling 255.
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