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Dreamliner Three Assembly Gets Underway

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Boeing began final assembly on Dreamliner Three (ZA003), the fifth 787 and the 3rd for flight test program. The aircraft, when painted, will wear the colors of Northwest Airlines. The rudder, which has been mated to the vertical tail, has already been painted red. Images of assembly are available on Randy Tinseth's blog and if you look closely at the first image you can spot the red rudder.

Here's a visual update on the 787 assembly line.
assemblystatus050108_sm.jpg
Original Image Courtesy of Boeing
Created by FlightBlogger to reflect current status

See previous assembly status from April 9, 2009

Boeing underscored the significant improvement in the condition of ZA003:

"We are receiving assemblies that are much more complete," said Jack Jones, vice president of 787 Final Assembly and Change Incorporation. Jones replaces Steve Westby, who retired from Boeing yesterday after a 31-year career. "The second flight-test airplane had a 50 percent reduction in the amount of incomplete work as compared to the first airplane. 'Traveled work' on this airplane is 65 percent less than on the first.

Program sources familiar with the status of assembly tell FlightBlogger that the level of completion has enabled assembly to progress as the fastest pace yet. Major systems, including the ram air turbine, arrived already installed in the center fuselage. In addition, the wings have already received their outboard flaps, most spoilers panels and both ailerons. All of which were installed within just days of their arrival from Japan.

787-ZA003_ip_B.jpg
Image Credit Boeing

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