A model of the Boeing 787 outside the Visitor Center in South Carolina. Check out the wing-like roof.
This is a guest post written by Drew Vane for AirlineReporter.com:
I recently visited a Boeing Factory. No, I’m not talking about Renton or Everett, but in South Carolina.
Covering almost 11 football fields and completed in mid 2011, Boeing’s “other” factory for manufacturing the new 787 Dreamliner is located in North Charleston, South Carolina on property bordering Charleston International Airport and Joint Base Charleston. I had the opportunity to stop by during a business trip recently and let me tell you, this facility is impressive. According to Boeing’s web site, “Boeing South Carolina fabricates, assembles and installs systems for aft (rear) fuselage sections of the 787 Dreamliner and joins and integrates mid-body sections from other partners.”
These partners include companies located in India and Japan. While I wasn’t able to tour the facility during my trip, I did take a short visit to the visitor’s facility and grabbed some pics of the lineup near the fence line. I just happened to miss the second 787 Dreamliner to depart for India by only one day. I also missed the departure of the Dreamlifter with its precious cargo bound for Seattle, but I hope to catch one in the future.
Some 787s on the tarmac at Boeing’s South Carolina facility. Image by Drew Vane.
Since green is the name of the game these days, Boeing designed this facility to be as environmentally friendly as possible. The final assembly building was fitted with solar panels that are capable of generating enough electricity to power 250 homes with a peak energy output equal to 200,000 13-watt watt bulbs. In addition, Boeing has a zero waste program where recycling and reuse is the norm, creating zero waste to landfills from the facility as a whole. Quite impressive for such a large manufacturing facility.
The visitor’s center unfortunately is for those with permission to enter the site. I had hoped to see a retail store, room full of Boeing paraphernalia and models for sale. It is too bad that the store is behind the fence, far from public eyes. The visitor center is more a front gate for those seeking security badges or meeting Boeing employees. They did have a very nice facility with a roof in the form of a 400-ft long wing, an outside small display with the history of Boeing, and a large scale model of the 787.
Boeing workers who built the facility
A very courteous Boeing employee was kind enough to talk with me as he was leaving for the day. Boeing’s Charleston facility is the only location currently in the world where the 787 tail assembly is manufactured. Boeing ships the tails to Everett where they’re assembled. Similar to Everett, all the parts are shipped here to Charleston for assembly. At the present time, Boeing’s manufacturing is only capable of producing one 787 per month. But, they hope to eventually ramp that up to one every six days, similar to the Everett Washington facility.
From public areas, I did spot some red tails (not the movie) in the lineup area and took a drive over, stopping outside the fence to snap a pic of the lineup. What an impressive sight! I was excited just to be in the same state as these fine aircraft. I cannot wait until my next visit.
EVERETT, Wash., March 2, 2012 – Boeing and more than 5,000 employees, suppliers, customers and government officials celebrated the 1,000th 777 (A6-EGO) at a special event. Click for larger. Photo by Boeing.
Yesterday, Boeing celebrated building the 1000th 777 airliner, a 777-300ER registered A6-EGO, which is set to be delivered to Emirates Airlines later in the month. The celebration took place in the Boeing Factory and the 1000th aircraft was revealed to have a special “1000th” livery.
“As the largest 777 customer, it’s very appropriate that Emirates is the recipient of our milestone 1,000th 777,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Emirates has set an industry high bar in providing excellent customer service and we’re honored that the 777 is central to its efforts to be a global airline leader.”
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of 777 aircraft, with 102 already in its fleet and another 93 on order.
Almost a year ago Boeing celebrated building the 1000th 767, which was first produced in 1982 and took almost 30 years to reach the 1000 mark. It has taken the Boeing 777 less than 20 years to reach the same accomplishment. “The 777 program reached this milestone faster than any other twin-aisle airplane because of the 777’s proven performance, exceptional value, continuous innovation and progressive environmental performance,” said Larry Loftis, who until recently was vice president and general manager of the 777 program.
To date, Boeing has recorded orders for 1,361 777s to 64 customers around the globe.
In my experience, I think I have heard someone say, “I prefer not to fly on that aircraft,” about every type of airliner except the Boeing 777. She is an unassuming workhorse that has never caused any fatalities to any passenger or crew since her first flight on June 12, 1994. Huge cheers to Boeing and those who have helped to make all 1000 of these planes.
Here are additional photos of the event from the Seattle PI and from Randy Tinseth’s Boeing Blog. Also check out these 777 videos from Boeing.
Most people were probably distracted by President Obama, but if you look close, you can see the joint on the 787, meaning it has not been painted. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / NYCAviation
Yesterday President Obama made a visit to the Boeing Factory at Paine Fieldand he was able to make a speech in front of United’s first 787 Dreamliner. The aircraft looked to be in standard United livery, making it seem that they might not be planning a special livery, but look a bit closer. You can see the joints of the plane, meaning it is not painted.
The Globe looked pretty good on this 787, but don't get attached. It is coming off -- at least for now.
The opportunity to have Obama stand in front of a 787 is something you do not want to pass up. Problem was that no 787 has been painted in an airline’s livery based in the US. No problem; you can slap some decals on the plane and make it look (on the most part) ready for service — and that is just what Boeing did.
United's "new" livery continues to grow on me and I think it will look good on the Dreamliner. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / NYCAviation.
“The unfinished plane wore temporary decals showing United’s standard livery to serve as a backdrop for the event,” Mary Ryan with United communications explained to AirlineReporter.com. So now, the big question still remains: will United be painting their first 787 Dreamliner in a special livery?
President Obama in front of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner inside the Boeing Factory. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
President Barack Obama toured and spoke at the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington mid-day on Friday. An audience of Boeing workers and local politicians waited for President Obama to take the stage with three Dreamliners and a banner with the slogan “An America Built to Last” as a backdrop.
Air Force One arrived at Boeing Field at around 11am, which was an event in itself for local planespotters. A motorcade brought President Obama, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, and Boeing escorts onto the vast 787 factory floor. The President toured two of three Dreamliners before exiting the second 787 (already outfitted in a make-shift United Airlines livery) onto a red carpet down the stairs and to the podium. In his speech, Obama made sure to give “props” to United since they are based out of his hometown of Chicago.
Boeing employees listen to Obama speak inside the Boeing Factory. United's 787 showed off their livery. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
After thanking Boeing for the “smooth ride” he has in Air Force One, the 747 which was built at the Boeing Everett plant in 1986, President Obama admired the 787 Dreamliner in front of the Boeing audience,“This is the first commercial airplane to be made with 50% composite materials. It’s lighter, it’s faster, it’s more fuel-efficient than any airplane in its class. And it looks cool.”
Later, Obama stated that business was “booming” for Boeing, citing a 50% increase in orders for commercial aircraft last year, and 13,000 new Boeing employees hired across the country. Obama praised Boeing as a company that keeps jobs in America in a global economy where many manufacturing jobs are moving overseas. Boeing employees cheered as Obama skewered foreign competition, “Companies like Boeing are finding out that even when we can’t make things faster or cheaper than China, we can make them better.” In what will inevitably be an election year issue, Obama continued by laying out his hopes to change the tax code to favor companies who keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and more heavily tax companies who outsource.
Notice how event though this Boeing 787 has the United globe on the tail, it has not actually been painted yet. You can see Obama exiting the aircraft. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
From the 25-year employee and the 787 Quality Inspector who got to introduce Jim Albaugh (President and Chief Executive Officer of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes) and President Obama, respectively, to Obama’s personal acknowledgement of machinist and engineering union leaders in the audience, workers were clearly meant to be at the forefront of the event. “If we have a level playing field, America will always win, because we have the best workers.”
President Obama speaks to Boeing workers and media. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
The praise of America’s workforce was particularly well-timed with the payroll tax bill that passed through Congress with bipartisan support Friday morning. President Obama took a couple of minutes in Everett to celebrate the bill that will delay a payroll tax hike for working Americans and will renew jobless benefits for others. In one of his only mentions of bitterly divided political parties, Obama lauded the bill as “what happens when Congress focuses on doing the right thing instead of just playing politics.”
Air Force One (well Obama is not on it, so technically, that is not it's name right now) sitting at Paine Field. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
After leaving the Everett facility, President Obama visited elsewhere in the Seattle-area via helicopter, but shortly returned to Paine Field and departed in Air Force One at about 6pm local time.
Story written by Amy Franklin for AirlineReporter.com and photos taken by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren with NYCAviation.com.