MIAMI — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. started the major assembly of the first Boeing 787-10, the third and largest variant of the Dreamliner family aircraft. Boeing reported in a statement that this milestone was achieved two weeks ahead of schedule, just as occurred with the completion of the design stage achieved last December.
“Beginning major assembly early underscores the commitment, discipline and performance of the entire Boeing and partner team worldwide,” said Ken Sanger, vice president of 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
With the maturity of the production program, and the commonality in the design and build of the 787-10 and 787-9, Boeing plans to reduce exposure to risks and production costs across the system. According to Sanger, the airframer is “taking all the right steps to ensure we integrate the 787-10 into the production system smoothly.”
The 787-10 will complete the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8 and 787-9. With an extra 33% capacity compared to the 787-8 and 15% to the 787-9. The -10 variant will have a range of 6,430 nautical miles (11,908 kilometers), accommodating up to 323 passengers in a standard cabin configuration.
Boeing is on track to complete the assembly of the 787-10 this year, followed by the first flight in 2017 and initial deliveries to take place in 2018. To date, the jetliner has reaped 153 orders from nine customers, with Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways among the largest operators of the variant. According to the company, this order book accounts for the 13% of all 787 orders.