United's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner is pulled out of the factory. Image from Boeing. Click for Larger.

United's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner is pulled out of the factory. Image from Boeing. Click for Larger.

Wednesday night, Boeing pulled out United Airline’s first 787 Dreamliner from the factory and off the final assembly line. The first 787 Dreamliner has already been delivered to the launch customer, ANA, but United will be the first North American airline to take delivery of the new aircraft.  From United’s press release: “While in final assembly, the aircraft moved through four factory positions, including the final aircraft body join, landing gear installation, weight-on-wheels testing and installation of interior components and systems. Over the next several months, the aircraft will move to the next phase of completion, which includes final cabin configuration, installation of engines and painting.”

United's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner gets pulled in front of the factory located in Everett, WA. Photo by Boeing. Click for larger.

United's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner gets pulled in front of the factory located in Everett, WA. Photo by Boeing. Click for larger.

United will configure their first 787 with 36 seats in BusinessFirst, 63 seats in Economy Plus and 120 seats in Economy. There was some speculation if United might be offering a special livery, but I doubt it. When I was on the factory floor recently, the tail was definitely a solid blue, which matches United’s current “new” livery. With United recently switching their brand over from the tulip to the globe, it wouldn’t really make sense for them to also introduce a special livery. Normally I am all for any livery that spices things up, but at this stage it would just cause brand confusion.

Nose show of United Airline's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner outside the factory at Paine Field.

Nose show of United Airline's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner outside the factory at Paine Field. Photo by Boeing. Click for larger.

Although the exact date of delivery is unknown, United told AirlineReporter.com that they expect to get their first 787 during the, “second half of 2012.” It will be the first of 50 that the airline has on order.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: [email protected]

http://www.airlinereporter.com
My Quest to Ride on a Beechcraft Starship: Flying This Weekend (Attempt #2)
8 Comments

The 787 would be precisely the reason it would make sense for United to introduce a new livery. The current one looks dated, and is clearly a half-hearted effort because of the merger.

Hopefully United will just ‘get it’ and show a little spirit. It would be immensely disappointing for them to roll out the 787 in the current livery.

I think it is almost too late at this point. Think of all the money they have spent converting over to the new brand: liveries, airports, website, even business cards.

Folks that don’t like the new brand will either have to learn to love it or just deal with it until it is re-done :).

David

It would be nice to see a refreshed livery, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Looking at this they might be doing some special livery for their first 787.

I thought United’s Dreamliner was entering service in the spring of 2012, not taking delivery by the end of 2012? Also, has the new United adopted the term “BusinessFirst” from Continental?

Hey Andrew,

Just double checked with United and their official statement is, “delivery time frame is second half of 2012.” I will update the post with that.

And yes, with the merger, there is quite a few changes. Both UAL and CO fans will be losing and winning with some things. It should all work itself out with time.

David

I’m confused as to why it takes Boeing 6+ months to build the interior of the 787. If “final assembly” is complete, why the long delay until delivery? I know there are kinks in production still to work out, but man this feels excessive. I would have guess the CO 787 would have been scheduled for delivery around the first of the year instead.

I am sure it is less about putting the interior in (Boeing doesn’t actually make them) versus the back up that Boeing has with a bunch of 787 (and 747s) sitting at Paine Field and waiting for the remainder of the parts. No windows, no engines and many other parts are needed to get the plane ready. Then you have the test flights that the 787 will need to go through before being ready to go to the customer.

Originally it UA/CO was set to get their first 787 in Spring 2012, but it has been pushed back to the later half of 2012. Just because the first one has gone to ANA doesn’t mean there still aren’t delays for the other aircraft to be set for delivery. Once Boeing has the supply chain down and the back log of planes delivered, I would assume it will be much less time between roll out and delivery.

David

Can’t WAIT!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *