August 2012

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Assembling 747-8 - June 29 - Prepping for final body join

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section44join_560.jpgConsider this a bit of catch up over the last several weeks on 747-8 progress. I wanted to bring you the latest on what's going on with the first 747-8 Freighter - RC501 - coming together in Everett right now.

cranemove_560.jpgLast this page left the new jumbo jet, the forward fuselage was making the trip on May 17th from Building 40-23 back over to 40-21/22 for sealing and testing.

When the first stub join was completed, the wings were "flown" from the join position to the seal on the afternoon of June 7th. The crane, actually two cranes, that lifted the wings represented a record for Boeing after more than 40 years of 747 production. According to one source, the two cranes lifted 149,300 lbs. before placing the wings into the seal area.
Eleven days later, Boeing had the second set of wings in the stub join area. Which brings us to last week when the bonnet Section 44 was lowered into position over the center wing box on June 25th to begin the wing-to-body join.

winglaydown_560.jpgNext will be the final body join that will see the wings flying to the next assembly position for mating to the forward and aft fuselage sections by the end of August or so, says Boeing.

Program sources also indicate that two of four General Electric GEnx-2B engines have been delivered to final assembly. Final certification of the engine is expected to happen around October. Finally, the blended raked winglets will be added once the aircraft is moved to the slant position at the head of Building 40-22 because the wings would be wider than the join area!

Photo Credit Boeing

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