State of the Airlines

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Just How Important Is the 787 to Boeing?

If you're wondering how important the 787 is to Boeing then just take a look at the lengths they are going to. Faced with exactly zero companies in the world capable of quickly moving massive pieces of their 787 between their worldwide partners they looked to themselves for the solution. What I am referring to is the 747-400CL which just completed its maiden voyage. The aircraft looks like a pregnant version of the familiar 747 and has three times of the cargo volume of the -400 variant. Folks, that is massive...the extended barrel is 18 inches wider that the Airbus A380. The project calls for three of these aircraft to be created. Boeing will use the aircraft to shuttle large assemblies between its facilities in Japan, Italy, Kansas, South Carolina and Washington.

Its a major undertaking to create and certify a special built variant of an aircraft but the 787 is that important to Boeing. They intend to show that an aircraft can be built using worldwide partners for major assemblies. They believe that the 787 will shape the future of Boeing. Per Boeing's website the 377 firm orders are valued at $59 billion so...yeah...its THAT important. Thus the 747-400CL is born.

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