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Number Of 787 And 747-8s On The Boeing Flight Line  
User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 13552 times:

The growing number of unfinished 787s and 747-8F on the Boeing Flight Line is quite impressive!!! Currently there are 12 787s in some stage of assembly on the Flight Line, whlie there are 5 747-8Fs. Was wondering how Boeing would be able to move all of those a/c back in to the assembly line and get them finished while also continuing to assemble in line aircraft? For the 787s, there are a/c all over Everett in other hangers that have not moved to the Flight Line so I think there are as much as (not including the final flight test aircraft) 2 to 4 more inside that could be moved outside.

The 787s are going to need engines, interiors, and a host of other equipment. Then when you consider any other quality related repairs or modifications from flight test results, the completion of that number of a/c will be a major undertaking in and of itself. The 747-8Fs look like they're further along, 4 appear to need engines and one painting. Their completion requirements may be less, but will still require being taken back inside to address any flight test modifications. Anyone know how all these a/c will be accomodated? Also, think of the number of pilots needed to get that number of a/c up and out.

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 13376 times:

Why would the aircraft have to go back to the production line? Airlines and maintenance facilities change engines and remove and replace equipment everyday. Interiors are frequently removed an replaced and they don't have production lines.

User currently offlineSonomaFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1761 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 13339 times:
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If they are out on the flight line, their production is complete. The "fitting out" of engines, interiors etc can be done in a hanger or at the hard stands depending on logistics, weather etc. IIRC, the paint shop is separate from the actual assembly line.

The shim repair/replacement for the horizontal stabilizers can be done out on the flight line.

[Edited 2010-07-09 10:29:27]

User currently offline747classic From Netherlands, joined Aug 2009, 2103 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 13230 times:

This is not the first time that the KPAE flight line is crowed with partly completed aircraft.

With the introduction of the 747 in 1969/1970 the same happened, caused by severe engine problems (P&W JT9D).

Most 747-100's, shown at following photo, are not equipped with engines , but with simulation weights, like many 747 and 787 at this moment.

see : http://boeingblogs.com/randy/archives/photos/everett_flight_line.html



Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2914 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 13111 times:

Quoting 747classic (Reply 3):
Most 747-100's, shown at following photo, are not equipped with engines , but with simulation weights, like many 747 and 787 at this moment.

I count 25 there in the photo. Should be plenty of room for 5 748s and 12 788s.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 13067 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
Airlines and maintenance facilities change engines and remove and replace equipment everyday. Interiors are frequently removed an replaced and they don't have production lines.


SO they hang the engines on in the stalls, and then fly them somewhere to install the interiors. With the new overflow area on grounds, which I think has space for 10 a/c, based on what you're saying, sometime in the early fall we should see a significant number of cranes on site to perform that task. I can go with that. If they get to 20 787s on line there will be 40 engines installed and some 5000 seats to be installed? Based on the pictures I see, the a/c currently on the line, are at various stages of assembly (not totally complete as Sonomoflyer claims), which will mean some level of rework will be required. Work continues on the flight line on them, but all are sitting in storage mode, which means there will be a "large" team crawling over every a/c. It currently takes 4 weeks to get a test a/c from the flight line to ground test, so I assume the time will be reduced when their in production. Based on that, sometime in late August we should see engines on the flight line and a/c moving in late October for end of year delivery. Does that make sense?


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 13049 times:

Quoting CFBFrame (Reply 5):
SO they hang the engines on in the stalls, and then fly them somewhere to install the interiors.



Why not. Airbus fly the A380's to Germany for interior fitment.


User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 12986 times:

Where do you think they will go to be outfitted?

User currently offlineEA772LR From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2836 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 12952 times:

Quoting 747classic (Reply 3):
With the introduction of the 747 in 1969/1970 the same happened, caused by severe engine problems (P&W JT9D).

Look at all those PanAm tails...wish PanAm were around. Would you consider the introduction of the 747 to be more or less troublesome than the introduction?



We often judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3472 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 12885 times:
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When a flight test program causes a/ps to back up on the field, there are several things that are left undone...
1. Engines - they are expensive... and are paid for on delivery... so save a few bucks and delay them until certification is nearly complete and they can be installed anywhere.

2. Interiors - the seats, galleys, media stuff are also delayed for the same reason. also by keeping the floors bare (no carpets) if modifications are called for based on flight test findings, it's a lot easier to perform them. These items can also be installed anywhere and they will probably use a scissor lift van to do it. some may even be delivered to the airline empty with the customer installing the amenities.

3. paint- this can be held up because a customer wants an introduction special and to have it sitting on the line for months ruins the PR.

all the work except maybe some paint will be done in Everett...

once they open the gate these birds will disappear quickly, not as fast as later because there will be customer pilot training going on...


User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 12862 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 9):
all the work except maybe some paint will be done in Everett...

On the Flight Line, or inside?


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3472 posts, RR: 27
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 12835 times:
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Quoting CFBFrame (Reply 10):
On the Flight Line, or inside?


on the flight line (possibly at ATS as well) except paint which requires the paint buildings (still called "camo" for camouflage buildings) It will be a very busy place...


User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 12611 times:

By the way here's the link from Matt's Paine Field site, so you'll be able to see all the a/c. You won't see any Pan AM tails in this recent picture, but you will see quite a few ANA tails.

http://kpae.blogspot.com/


User currently offline7673mech From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 714 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 11869 times:
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Quoting CFBFrame (Reply 7):
Where do you think they will go to be outfitted?

Right where they are sitting.
They are also renting to hangar bays from ATS one of which is also a fully paint bay.
It's really not that big a deal.
Working round the clock, a crew of 6-8 mechanics per shift can install the interior of an aircraft that size in less then a week.
You don't know a crane to hang an engine. You can use chain falls, plus not all planes are missing engines.


User currently offlinePanman From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Aug 1999, 790 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 11481 times:

Quoting 7673mech (Reply 13):
Working round the clock, a crew of 6-8 mechanics per shift can install the interior of an aircraft that size in less then a week.

Less than that.....

When I worked nightshift at Monarch, a crew of 4 of us could refit the interior of an A300 in 2 nights, and that includes hatbins.

pAnmAn


User currently offline747classic From Netherlands, joined Aug 2009, 2103 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9614 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 9):
Engines - they are expensive... and are paid for on delivery... so save a few bucks and delay them until certification is nearly complete and they can be installed anywhere



I fully agree, also the up to now produced GEnx-1B engines of the 787 have to be modified to the newest standard, this cannot be done with already installed engines. All presently produced engines are built to the new standard, but maybe need some small updates, discovered during flight testing.
Both engine variants will receive their type certificate this month. For the -1B engine it's a re-certification, because of the many changes compared to the original design, certified in 2008.
The GEnx-2B for the 747-8(F) will also be certified under the same type certificate ( E00078NE ).
Future upgrades to lower the TSFC further are planned.



Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
User currently offlineflyboyseven From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9582 times:

I cant wait to go back down there to see what is going on. I was last there just before they filled up the 787 line. It was just a big empty hall. Should be kinda exiting once production starts ramping up and they are kicking one out every few days.


As long as the number of take-offs equals the number of landings...you're doing fine.
User currently offlineSwallow From Uganda, joined Jul 2007, 555 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 9372 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 9):
Engines - they are expensive... and are paid for on delivery... so save a few bucks

  

I remember hearing during the Boeing tour that the company saves on state taxes by having inventory delivered "just in time"



The grass is greener where you water it
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7968 times:

Isn't some Airbus facilities in Germany and France also packed with unfinished A-380s? I don't see this as a big deal for either OEM.

User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7050 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
I don't see this as a big deal for either OEM.

Undelivered inventory sitting on the flightline is never a good thing.



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User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3472 posts, RR: 27
Reply 20, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6850 times:
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Quoting Swallow (Reply 17):
I remember hearing during the Boeing tour that the company saves on state taxes by having inventory delivered "just in time"



actually "just in time" means no inventory... at one time Boeing had 5 a/ps worth of expensive stuff and up 100 a/ps of cheap parts in "stores" stockpiled ahead of need... now parts arrive the day of installation.. the old "stores" are gone. One advantage was reduced cost of hardware gathering dust, the other was the ability to incorporate changes quickly.. there no longer is stock to be used up, reworked or scrapped. If you're curious check out books on the Toyota Production System


User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6794 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
Isn't some Airbus facilities in Germany and France also packed with unfinished A-380s? I don't see this as a big deal for either OEM.

Today, the A380 a/c standing inventory is caused by a different issue than the Boeing standing a/c inventory. The 787s and 747-8s are there prior to certification, so Boeing is producing a/c prior to completion of flight test. Boeing could face a variety issues that could impact delivery dates. In the end, and with inadequate production controls, the Boeing programs could end up dealing with the same type of A380 production issues.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 19):
Undelivered inventory sitting on the flightline is never a good thing.

Could not agree more. Which is why I asked the question about the type of remedies to address the situation expeditiously.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 22, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6618 times:

Quoting CFBFrame (Reply 21):
Could not agree more. Which is why I asked the question about the type of remedies to address the situation expeditiously.

The remedy is to certify the airplanes so they can start delivering.

Aircraft supply chains are *very* slow to start up and change rates. The only way you can be ready to produce at a reasonable rate and start delivering when type certification arrives is to ramp up the production system ahead of certification...a necessary byproduct of that is undelivered inventory sitting around prior to certification.

This isn't good, but it's normal and it's the cheapest way to the end goal: a stable production system delivering airplanes at a steady rate. As soon as certification arrives the excess inventory is delivered as fast as the customers can accept it.

Tom.


User currently offlineSwallow From Uganda, joined Jul 2007, 555 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6303 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 20):
"just in time" means no inventory

Correct. I should have written "parts"

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 19):
Undelivered inventory sitting on the flightline is never a good thing

At least they can rework the horizontal stabs on those planes



The grass is greener where you water it
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 24, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6228 times:

Quoting CFBFrame (Reply 21):
the Boeing programs could end up dealing with the same type of A380 production issues.

Somehow, I don't think that is the case with the B-787-8 or B-747-8F. I have not heard of wiring harness issues.

Quoting Swallow (Reply 23):
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 19):
Undelivered inventory sitting on the flightline is never a good thing

At least they can rework the horizontal stabs on those planes

Which won't take very long, or effect deliveries of the B-787s. Having engineering changes that show up from flight testing could be a different issue.


25 7673mech : One disadvantage is customer support. It is hard to get replacement parts sometimes. 90-120 lead times. Interior manufactures are even worse.
26 antoniemey : Boeing planned to have this many aircraft on the flightline. This isn't an "oops, we're delayed so we can't deliver these." This is a case of Boeing
27 kanban : Yes, the old method of drawing parts from production stock is shot.. gone are the expediters on bicycles and scooters racing around the plants pickin
28 iad787 : Hey all, A few points worth discussing here that should clarify some of the speculation here. 1. Aviation Technical Services (ATS) hangars at the sout
29 787atPAE : Holy cow. Anybody know how many 787s will there be on the ramps by the time TC is granted?
30 A10WARTHOG : The production is not done til the airplane is blessed by the FAA. When the plane hits the flight line the production is not finished. For many years
31 Post contains links mattcawby : The taxiway will remain open, 787s will be parked on Kilo North beginning in about a month. The security fence installation was completed on June 29.
32 tdscanuck : The exact number will depend on when TC is granted, but it looks like it's gonna be a couple of dozen. Tom.
33 CFBFrame : Thanks Jon If you look at the pictures Matt puts on his website daily, you know they're not finished. Thanks Matt, and keep those pictures flowing!!
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