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Boeing 787 Dreamliner Assembly

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Boeing 787 Assembly

The final assembly for the Boeing 787 takes place at Boeings’ plant in Everett, Washington. The plant employs a mere 800 to 1,200 staff who are responsible for the final assembly of the major components of the aircraft.  As with the Boeing 737, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will have the construction of it’s major components contracted out to manufacturers around the globe.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Parts Suppliers

Boeing 787 part suppliers

Boeing manufactures the Boeing 787s tail fin at its plant in Frederickson, Washington, the ailerons and flaps at Boeing Australia, and fairings at Boeing Canada Technology.

For its entire history, Boeing has guarded its techniques for designing and mass producing commercial jetliner wings. For economic reasons, the wings are now manufactured by Japanese companies in Nagoya such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The horizontal stabilisers are manufactured by Alenia Aeronautica in Italy. The fuselage sections are collectively built by, Vought in Charleston, South Carolina, (USA), Alenia in Italy, Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan and Spirit AeroSystems, in Wichita, Kansas, (USA).

First Boeing 787 9 Dreamliner in Factory at Final Body Join

The passenger doors are made by Latecoere (France), and the cargo doors, access doors, and crew escape door are made by Saab (Sweden).  Japanese industrial participation is very important to the project, with a 35% work share and many of the subcontractors supported and funded by the Japanese government.

Boeing announced a production agreement involving $6 billion worth of carbon fibre.

On April 26, 2006, Japanese manufacturer Toray Industries and Boeing announced a production agreement involving $6 billion worth of carbon fibre. The deal is an extension of a contract signed in 2004 between the two companies and eases some concerns that Boeing might have difficulty maintaining its production goals for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

On February 6, 2008, TAL Manufacturing Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata Group (India) announced a deal to deliver floor beams for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from their factory at Mihan, near Nagpur, India and then send on to assembly plants in Italy, Japan and the United States.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner near the end of assembly.

Messier-Dowty (France) builds the landing gear and Thales supplies the integrated standby flight display and electrical power conversion system. Honeywell and Rockwell-Collins provide flight control, guidance, and other avionics systems, including standard dual head up guidance systems. Future integration of forward-looking infrared is being considered by Flight Dynamics allowing improved visibility using thermal sensing as part of the HUD system,

allowing pilots to “see through the clouds”.

allowing pilots to “see through the clouds”.

Connecticut (USA)-based Hamilton Sundstrand provides power distribution and management systems for the aircraft, including manufacture and production of Generator Control Units (GCUs).  In addition, they will supply integration of power transfer systems that can move power from the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and the main engines to the necessary parts and machinery of the aircraft. Cold weather test of the APU took place in Alaska.

Whilst the Boeing 737 fuselage barrels are transported by rail from Wichita to Renton, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is transported aboard converted Boeing 747 freighters call Dreamlifters which have had their fuselages widened.

The first composite fuselage section rolled out in January 2005, and final external design was set in April 2005. On June 30, 2006, Boeing celebrated the start of major assembly of the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Fuji Heavy Industries’ new factory in Handa, Japan, near Nagoya.

On December 6, 2006, Boeing conducted a “virtual roll-out” of the 787. Unlike a traditional roll-out (which occurred later), it took place without a physical air frame present. Taking computer aided design beyond the aircraft itself, Boeing modeled the manufacturing process, step-by-step and end-to-end, in software. The virtual roll-out was intended to discover production issues prior to assembly of the first air frame, when they are cheaper to fix.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner nose section takes shape in the factory.

On January 12, 2007, the first major assemblies, forward fuselage, centre wing, and centre wheel well built by FHI and KHI were shipped on a Boeing 747 400 LCF from Nagoya, Japan. They were delivered to Global Aeronautica in Charleston, South Carolina, on January 15.

On May 8, 2007, Vought rolled out completed rear Sections 47 and 48 from its factory in Charleston, SC. The sections were flown via the Dreamlifter to Everett, arriving on May 11 along with the all-composite forward section (section 41) manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. shipped the first Boeing 787 carbon-fiber wings from its factory in Nagoya to Boeings’ main assembly plant in Everett on May 15, 2007.

The Dreamlifter delivered the final major assembly,

The Dreamlifter delivered the final major assembly, the integrated mid-body fuselage, to Everett on May 16.

Final assembly began on May 21 in Everett, Washington. Rolls-Royce shipped the first pair of Trent 1000 engines from their Derby, UK facilities on schedule on June 7 for installation on the Boeing 787. On June 26, 2007 LN1/ZA001 had finished major assembly and was towed to the paint hangar in the early morning.

Boeing started construction of a second Boeing 787. This one was used for static testing and was never flown. It was not built with engines or horizontal stabilizers. Also, Boeing stated reluctance in breaking the composite wing during the test, which would require an expensive cleanup afterwards.

An important milestone in the launch of the 787 was the certification of the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine on August 7, 2007, by both European and US regulators. The engine has seven variants and is the first engine to be certified for use on the aircraft.

On August 20, 2007, Hamilton Sundstrand stated that it had delivered its first two cabin air conditioning packs to Boeing for the initial flight-test of the 787 Dreamliner.

ANA Boeing 787 8 Dreamliner Lands in Tokyo

If there is more you want to learn about this airliner, please visit: Boeing 787 HomeBoeing 787 Interior, Boeing 787 Specs, Boeing 787 Order Book and Boeing 787 History,

We welcome your comments below, is there more we could be showing or are there topics you would like to see? Thank you.

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9 thoughts on “Boeing 787 Dreamliner Assembly”

  1. Zachary J. Dixon

    Great information! I would like to cite it in a graduate school assignment. Can you tell me who wrote this article and when was it published?

    1. Hi Zachary,

      thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to use the information. I believe I wrote it back around 2008 with information taken from various sources. We strive to keep it up to date, so bits and pieces have been added over the years.

      Cheers Peter

  2. hello great job out there, I just curious about what materials this airplanes are made?


  3. Hello There
    I love the 787 Dreamliner aircraft..
    The L door seam to be large what is the weight of it ??
    And it also be the evacuation equipment too .. ??

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  6. How involved is Boeing in the race for space ? The coordinated engineering from different suppliers around the globe is a marvel all of it’s own ! The plant in Charleston S.C. is gargantuan, passing by it instills your vision to believe your at NASA.
    I’d like to know when they started fluting the bottom portion of the fuselage and how it improves flight for the 787 Dreamliner ?

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