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Wed, Aug 06, 2008

Delayed 787 Center Fuselage Segment Arrives In Everett

Final Assembly Begins On Fourth Test Plane

Following a five-week delay due to damage at the production facility, this week the center-fuselage section of Boeing's fourth 787 Dreamliner arrived at the planemaker's assembly center in Everett, WA.

The Seattle Times reports the Section 44 midbody barrel arrived Monday night, hours after the aircraft's nose section came in from Wichita. Crews began joining the sections of Dreamliner #4 Tuesday.

As ANN reported, the 84-foot-long center fuselage segment was damaged during assembly at Global Aeronautica in Charleston, SC in late June, after a technician improperly drilled fastener holes in the composite assembly. That worker, a mechanic at Boeing's partner company Alenia, was fired.

It's not yet known how the delay will affect Boeing's already-tight flight test schedule for the 787. The first Dreamliner is slated to fly in November, with deliveries commencing in Q3 of 2009. Boeing will ultimately have six 787-8s in the expected 10-month flight test program, and another two used for ground testing.

"We are still looking at what this will mean to the overall [flight-test] schedule," said Boeing spokeswoman Lori Gunter.

FMI: www.boeing.com

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