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Boeing to build 747 fuselage panels at Macon, Georgia facility

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has announced that 747 fuselage panels will be built at its Macon, Georgia facility beginning in 2018.

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing will take over the work from Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division, a wholly owned subsidiary of Triumph Group, Inc., with the Macon site providing assembled fuselage panels to Boeing’s 747 final assembly line in Everett, Washington. Boeing and Triumph Aerostructures have worked together to ensure a smooth transition for the 747 supply chain.

Boeing and Triumph Aerostructures have worked together for many months to ensure a smooth transition for the 747 supply chain. As part of this detailed process, the Boeing team selected the Boeing Defense, Space & Security Macon facility for 747 fuselage panel work.

Defense work currently performed at the Macon site includes replacement center wing sections for the A-10 Thunderbolt II, as well as sub-assemblies for the CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Fuselage panels for the C-17 Globemaster transport airplane were also produced at the site until earlier this year.

Current defense work at the facility is scheduled to be complete in mid-2016, at which time Boeing will transition the site for Commercial Airplanes work. Facility staffing will be temporarily reduced during the transition. The site will ramp up to full production on 747 fuselage panels by mid-2018, at which point it will employ up to 200 people.

Macon will become the twelfth manufacturing site for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Fabrication organization, which has operations in three countries.

Boeing will invest approximately $80 million in employee training, tooling and building modifications over the next three years.

The fuselage panel assembly transfer to the Macon site is the first of several new work packages for the 747 currently supplied by Triumph Aerostructures that Boeing will announce in the coming months.

Other 747 structures work now done by Triumph Aerostructures, including the empennage, floor beams and flight surfaces, is currently being competitively bid to selected suppliers. Boeing expects to have sourcing decisions for all the work completed this year.

At Macon, Boeing will equip the site with new tooling and equipment, which will occupy the entirety of the 220,000 square foot facility. A new advanced manufacturing production system will reduce the time to produce fuselage panels while also increasing quality and enhancing employee safety.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. The 2015 version of Boeing’s support of the hometown NFL Seattle Seahawks. Boeing 747-83QF N841BA (msn 60119) lands back at Paine Field in the 12th Man livery.

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ANA celebrates the roll-out of the R2-D2 Star Wars Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner JA873A logo jet at Everett

ANA 787-9 JA873A (15-R2-D2)(Flt)(ANA)(LRW)

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) today (September 12) is celebrating the roll out of the new R2-D2 Star Wars special livery on new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner JA873A (msn 34530). The airline issued this statement:

ANA Inspiration of Japan logo

The R2-D2™ ANA Jet, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, rolled-out from the Boeing Everett Factory for the first time this morning (September 12). The R2-D2™ (below).

ANA 787-9 JA873A (15-R2-D2)(Nose)(ANA)(LRW)

Photo Below: Boeing.

ANA Jet is the first of three planes to be decorated with Star Wars characters as part of an agreement between ANA, Japan’s largest airline, and The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd.

ANA Star Wars R2-D2

“Today the time has come to bring the ANA Star Wars project to life and we hope Star Wars fans across the world will be as excited about our R2-D2 ANA Jet as we are,” said Hideki Kunugi, Senior Vice President, the Americas, ANA. “At ANA we’re always looking for ways to improve the flying experience for our passengers, and what better way to start your trip to Asia than on a one-of-a-kind Star Wars plane?”

ANA 787-9 Star Wars diagram (ANA)(LR)

The R2-D2 design was unveiled to Star Wars fans at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California earlier this year. Today marks the first time a Star Wars character appears on the exterior of an actual commercial aircraft.

ANA 787-9 Star Wars 1 (ANA)(LR)
“The Boeing Company is truly honored that ANA has selected the new 787-9 Dreamliner to showcase this wonderful new livery,” said Ihssane Mounir, Senior Vice President, Northeast Asia Sales and Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Their commitment to the 787 is a testament to the market-leading efficiency and innovation of the Dreamliner. I am confident this latest addition to its large fleet of 787s, will help ANA maintain its position as one of the best airlines in the world.”

ANA 787-9 Star Wars 3 (ANA)(LR)

On October 18, the R2-D2™ ANA Jet is scheduled to go into service on international routes, initially as flight NH116 between Tokyo and Vancouver, and then fly between Japan and other cities in ANA’s robust international network including the US (Seattle and San Jose), Europe (Munich, Paris and Brussels), Australia (Sydney), China (Beijing), and Indonesia (Jakarta).[1] The R2-D2 motif is imprinted onto the cockpit and front half of the jet’s main fuselage, while the Star Wars logo spans the length behind the wings. The interior of the 215-seat passenger plane will feature themed in-flight decorations, such as headrest covers, paper napkins and cups, and passengers will be able to enjoy all six of the currently released Star Wars films as part of ANA’s extensive in-flight entertainment options. This will be the first time that any of the Star Wars movies have been included as part of an in-flight entertainment system.[2]

Two additional planes decorated with BB-8, a brand new character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and R2-D2 will take to the skies following the R2-D2™ ANA Jet. The first, a Boeing 767-300, will begin flying domestic Japanese routes in November and then, in March 2016, a Boeing 777-300ER, is scheduled to start serving international routes principally between Japan and North America (the exact routes have yet to be announced)[3]. Fans will be able to see the planes’ schedules at http://www.ana-sw.com.

Today’s ceremony began with an introduction from Ihssane Mounir, Senior Vice President of Northeast Asia Sales and Marketing at Boeing, who welcomed the crowd that included journalists, R2-D2, C-3PO and Stormtroopers. When the official Star Wars music began to play, the Paint Hangar doors at the Boeing Everett Factory opened, unveiling the R2-D2™ ANA Jet to the world for the first time.

[1] Routes and flights detailed on the above site are provisional and subject to change without notification.

[2] Star Wars movies to be shown from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016 on all international routes.

[3] The routes are tentatively set as New York, Chicago and Houston, but this is subject to change.


All Images by ANA/Star Wars Project.




First flight for the first British Airways Boeing 787-9, to be introduced on October 25

British Airways (London) has 22 216-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on order. Yesterday (September 7), the first copy, the pictured 787-9 G-ZBKA (msn 38616), successfully completed its first flight from Paine Field near Everett via Moses Lake.

British Airways logo

According to British Airways, “the Boeing 787-9 – the latest addition to the fleet – features an evolution of our First cabin, with just 8 seats compared to the usual 14, increased range and is 20 feet longer and four inches taller than the 787-8.”

The new type will be introduced on the daily London (Heathrow) (LHR) – Delhi route on October 25. The London (Heathrow) – Abu Dhabi – Muscat route will follow on November 5 per Airline Route.

The 787-9 will also be introduced from LHR to Kuala Lumpur on December 5 and Austin, Texas on February 1, 2016.

Read more on the new BA 787-9: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner G-ZBKA arrives back at Paine Field after its successful first flight on September 7.

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Korean Air becomes the first airline to operate both versions of the Boeing 747-8

Korean Air (Seoul) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) yesterday (August 25) marked the delivery of the airline’s first 747-8 Intercontinental. The new fuel-efficient jet is the first of 10 747-8 passenger airplanes the carrier has on order.

Top Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 747-8B5 HL7630 (msn 40905) was handed over to the carrier on August 25. The Jumbo is seen landing after a test flight at Paine Field near Everett, WA.

With this delivery, Korean Air becomes the first airline in the world to operate both the passenger and freighter versions of the 747-8. Korean Air currently operates seven 747-8 Freighters.

Korea’s flag carrier currently operates a fleet of 87 Boeing passenger airplanes that includes 737, 747 and 777s. The airline also operates an all-Boeing cargo fleet of 28 747-400, 747-8 and 777 Freighters.

With a range of 7,730 nautical miles (14,310 km), the 747-8 Intercontinental offers 16 percent savings in fuel consumption and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, while generating 30 percent less noise. The airplane also features an all-new, 787 Dreamliner-inspired interior that includes a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort.

Korean Air’s jet is configured with 368 seats and features the brand new First Class Kosmo Suite 2.0, which include a sliding door and higher partitions to provide added privacy for passengers. The suites are also equipped with updated in-flight entertainment systems, with large 24-inch high-definition monitors and new handheld touch remotes.

Above Photo: Boeing.

The airline’s Business Class Prestige Suites (above) will feature staggered seating and privacy panels, along with 18-inch high definition touch screens.

Korean Air’s Aerospace Division is a key Boeing partner on both the 747-8 and 787 programs, supplying the distinctive raked wing-tips for each model. They are also one of two suppliers producing the new 737 MAX Advanced Technology (AT) Winglet.

Korean Air logo

Korean Air, with a fleet of 161 aircraft, is one of the world’s top 20 airlines, and operates more than 430 flights per day to 128 cities in 45 countries. It is a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance, which together with its 20 members, offers its 612 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 16,000 daily flights covering 1,052 destinations in 177 countries.

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Below Photo: Boeing. The staircase to the Upper Deck.

Air Canada takes delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Air Canada 787-9 C-FNOE (04)(Tko) PAE (Air Canada)(LR)

Air Canada (Montreal) announced the delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (C-FNOE, msn 35265) with this statement:

Air Canada logo-1

Air Canada announced today it has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787-9, a larger version of the Dreamliner 787-8 already in its fleet that has proven extremely popular with customers with its new international product standard. The Dreamliner is the world’s most modern commercial aircraft and the larger 787-9 version’s greater range and capacity will enable Air Canada to further expand its international network.

“Air Canada is very excited to take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9. This new aircraft’s larger capacity and greater range will accelerate our international expansion strategy and allow us to offer customers more non-stop services to new international destinations. Already, we have announced two new 787-9 routes to Delhi and Dubai from Toronto beginning this fall and as more of these aircraft enter the fleet we will expand our international network even further,” said Benjamin Smith , President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

The aircraft is due to arrive at Toronto Pearson this evening and the first designated routes for the Boeing 787-9 are nonstop services from Toronto to Delhi beginning November 1, 2015 and to Dubai beginning November 3, 2015 . In the interim, customers will have the opportunity to preview the new aircraft on select flights between Toronto and Vancouver during August and between Toronto and the cities of Munich and Milan during September and October. Future deployments of the 787-9 Dreamliner will be announced as new aircraft enter service.

Air Canada took delivery of its first Dreamliner in May 2014 and will receive a total of 29 new 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft by 2019, in addition to eight 787-8 aircraft already in operation. All Dreamliners will feature Air Canada’s redesigned interiors in a three-cabin configuration, including International Business with fully lie-flat seats, Premium Economy and Economy. Air Canada’s next generation seatback in-flight entertainment system will be available throughout. The Boeing 787-9 will seat 298 passengers and have a range of 15,372 kilometres, compared with the Boeing 787-8, which is configured to carry 251 passengers with a range of 14,500 kilometers.

Photo: Air Canada. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner C-FNOE (msn 35265) departs from Paine Field near Everett.

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Korean Air to become a new passenger Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental operator

Korean Air (Seoul) is already a Boeing 747-8F Intercontinental freighter operator. The flag carrier will soon to be welcomed to the 747-8 Intercontinental passenger club with the pending delivery of its first copy (above). The company has 10 Super Jumbos on order and will replace their older Boeing 747-400s with new type. The older 747-400s will be phased out by 2017.

Korean Air logo

Like Lufthansa, Korean Air will soon operate both the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-800.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The first, the pictured Boeing 747-8B5 HL7630 (msn 40905), taxies into position on the runway at Paine Field near Everett for a test flight.

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Boeing to cut the 747-8 production rate to only one aircraft per month

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has announced it will cut the 747-8 Intercontinental production rate by 23 percent from 1.3 aircraft to only one aircraft starting in March 2016 according to Reuters quoting Boeing sources. The company is currently building 1.5 aircraft per month and this was planned to be reduced to 1.3 in September despite a recent order by the Volga-Dnepr Group.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa has always been a keen supporter of the 747 and pushed Boeing for the updated 747-8 model. Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-830 D-ABYT (msn 37844) in the 1968 retro scheme lands at Paine Field near Everett.

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