Boeing has completed final assembly of United Airlines’ first 787 Dreamliner, finishing the first major step in the aircraft’s production.
The Boeing 787 was rolled off the final assembly line at Boeing’s widebody-assembly facility – which is volumetrically the largest building in the world – at Everett, Washington on the evening of October 12.
United Airlines will be the first North American carrier to take delivery of a Boeing 787 and will introduce the first of 50 Dreamliners into revenue service in 2012.
While in final assembly, the aircraft moved through four factory positions, including the final aircraft body-join, landing-gear installation, weight-on-wheels testing and installation of interior components and systems.
Over the next several months, the aircraft will move to the next phase of completion, which includes installation of the final cabin configuration, installation of engines and painting.
Boeing will configure United’s first 787 with 36 seats in BusinessFirst, 63 seats in Economy Plus and 120 seats in Economy.
The aircraft’s use of lightweight composites, together with more electric systems, modern engines and improved aerodynamic design, allows it to fly farther, faster and more efficiently than previous designs, according to United. The airline says passengers will experience greater comfort as a result of improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other passenger-friendly features.
United Continental Holdings’ subsidiaries Continental Airlines and United Airlines each ordered 25 Dreamliners.
With expanded range capabilities, greater fuel efficiency and superior operating economics compared with United’s and Continental’s existing fleets of Boeing 767s, the 787 will allow United to target new long-haul markets and replace older, less-efficient widebody aircraft.