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Side-of-body installations complete on first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing (NYSE: BA) has completed installing reinforcements within the side-of-body section on the first 787 Dreamliner.

The modification entails installing new fittings at 34 stringer locations within the joint where the wing is attached to the fuselage. Installations were completed yesterday.

Boeing expects to complete the installations on the static test airframe and the second flight-test airplane in the coming days.

"Completing this work is a significant step toward first flight. We continue to be pleased with the progress of the team and remain confident the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner will occur before the end of the year," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "We will test the modification on the full-scale static test airframe later this month. As soon as we confirm the loads are being handled appropriately in the joint we will complete preflight activities on the airplane."

Once the modification is complete on the static test airframe, it will be refitted with strain gauges and instrumentation required for testing. Access doors, systems, seals and fasteners removed from airplane No. 1 to provide access are being restored in preparation for continued testing on the airplane. Boeing continues to install fittings on the fatigue test airframe and the remaining flight-test airplanes. Other airplanes will be modified in the weeks ahead. Overall, the work on modifying airplanes is progressing well, Fancher said.

"We have a strong and capable team that has performed exceptionally well," Fancher said. "I'm very pleased with the team's dedication to meet our commitment to fly before the end of the year."

After airplane No. 1 is restored, the flight-test team will perform another set of gauntlet and taxi tests to ensure that all systems are ready for flight. Fancher noted that with the exception of a single high-speed taxi test, all remaining flight-test activities have been successfully completed on the first flight-test airplane.

Press release issued by Boeing Commercial Airplanes on November 12, 2009


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