Boeing said Thursday it has begun final assembly in North Charleston, S.C., of the first 787-10, the third and largest version of its Dreamliner jet family.
“As we enter the next phase of the 787-10’s development, we eagerly watch our first airplane come to life,” said Ken Sanger, vice president of 787 Airplane Development.
He said the progress on the new jet “demonstrates Boeing’s ability to develop great airplanes in a disciplined fashion in order to meet our customer commitments.”
For the two smaller Dreamliner models, most mid-fuselage sections assembled in North Charleston are ferried to Everett for final assembly inside customized Dreamlifter cargo planes. But the 787-10’s stretched mid-fuselage is too long to fit into the Dreamlifter, so final assembly of the -10 model will be done exclusively in South Carolina.
The stretched 787-10 has 95 percent commonality with the 787-9. It adds seats and cargo capacity, though it has less range.
It seats 330 passengers in a two-class configuration with a range of 7,400 miles, compared to 290 passengers on the 787-9 with a range just shy of 8,800 miles.
Boeing has, so far, received 154 orders from nine customers for the 787-10. The first one is expected to fly next year, with first delivery scheduled for 2018.