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Inside the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Factory Line

September 29, 2011 at 5:06 PM | by | ()

It is the domain of the chosen: The Boeing 787 Dreamliner factory floor in Everett, WA. The many, many workers underneath this roof are among the brightest and most dedicated, their desks spotless and the building quiet on a Sunday. As one of the small number of people who are invited to visit all the way down to the factory floor, we were honored to get right up close to tomorrow's crop of Dreamliner, still either being put together from pieces at one end, to being shined up on the other.

The building itself is massive; a sign on the visitor mezzanine pronounces it to be the "world's largest building," which it is by volume not floor space (that distinction goes to Dubai's Airport). There are actually two factory lines in here, the 777 and the 787. For obvious reasons, we stuck to the 787 skeletons, but seeing a few 777s ready to roll out was quite cool.

Unlike a typical assembly line, the floor here doesn't move. An airplane being assembled will spend 10 days in a single position before being moved up, and Boeing can produce two Dreamliners each month in these environs.

The very first nuts and bolts of the 787 aren't put together here, however. Entire portions already all set with the flight deck and nose landing gear arrive from another Boeing plant in South Carolina. This is why the beluga-looking cargo plane the Dreamlifter keeps busy.

Hot Gossip! Notice how the livery on the rudder of United's first 787 doesn't look like any of their usual livery. You can really see this in our Dreamliner Diner photo. We predict a completely special paintjob!

[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]

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