EVERETT, Washington--On Monday, three years later than originally planned, Boeing will deliver the first of its much-anticipated 787 Dreamliners to its launch customer, All Nippon Airways (ANA). On Sunday, the manufacturer invited a group of media representatives on a tour of the Dreamliner factory floor.
This is a forward fuselage section of a Dreamliner that's currently at the end of the assembly line, where four of the planes are always under production.
This is a 787 Dreamliner's horizontal stabilizer, awaiting assembly in what is known as "position zero," where major sections of the plane are brought into the giant factory. The major elements of the plane are joined at position one, and planes are finished when they reach position four.
There are always 4 Dreamliners being worked on at any given time. The assembly line is designed to handle up to 10 Dreamliners a month, but at the moment, Boeing is only turning out about 2 a month. Soon, that number will ramp up to 7.
Before the plane's engines are mounted, it is necessary to hang this 17,000 pound weight from the wings in order to flex the wings, which allows for workers to install the doors and windows. The wing flexing slightly curves the fuselage, which is required to install the doors and wings.