Boeing is making solid progress on the 787 Dreamliner. Mike Bair, vice president and general manager of the program, today told reporters at the Farnborough Air Show.
The development efforts are wrapping up and production of the super-efficient jetliner is under way at sites around the world.
“All of our partners are well along the path of finishing designs, installing and qualifying tooling and testing prototypes,” Bair said. “And for our long-lead items, we’ve started production of the first pieces.
“Just three weeks ago in Japan, I was honored to participate in the start of major assembly at Fuji Heavy Industries’ new 787 factory. Our first production systems elements have already been delivered.”
Bair also provided an update on another aspect of the program, the development of the 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter (LCF) that will be used to transport large structural elements from Italy and Japan to the United States. Completion of the first LCF continues in Taiwan with first flight expected next month.
Bair also highlighted the advantage new digital tools provided by Dassault Systemes will provide when the 787 enters service.
“We will digitally deliver our maintenance documents to the airlines,” he said. “The digital version of what used to be volumes and volumes of printed documentation will be intuitive and interactive, allowing mechanics to more easily conduct troubleshooting tasks and understand repair methods.
“It really is as easy as pointing at an airplane part and clicking. The digital tools will allow them to understand the structure, systems and pre- approved repairs. And, if the airlines choose, they can keep track of previous repairs in the same database creating an airplane-specific record that is always current.”
Bair noted that the new tools and advantages offered by the 787 help create value for the airlines but also present challenges to the team.
“Creating a new airplane is hard work,” he said. “It has to be or we aren’t creating the best product possible. We work issues every day of every week. The key is having the right people find the solutions we need to meet our commitments to our customers and that is exactly what we are doing.”