Final assembly of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for Qantas is about to begin after the aircraft’s major components arrived at Boeing’s Everett facility last week.
Qantas currently has eight 787-9s on order (11 787-8s are already in service with subsidiary Jetstar), with the first aircraft planned for delivery in mid-October.
Major components for that aircraft, comprising its nose, tail, fuselage and wings, arrived from their suppliers at Everett last week via Boeing’s 747-400LCF Dreamlifter aircraft ahead of final assembly commencing next Monday.
The final assembly process is expected to take 18 working days, with the aircraft planned to roll off the production line by the end of the month before entering the paint shop.
Typically the aircraft would then undertake two test flights with Boeing and then one or two customer acceptance flights ahead of formal handover to Qantas.
Qantas 787s fast facts
- Qantas announced the names for its first eight 787s in June: Boomerang, Dreamtime, Great Barrier Reef, Great Southern Land, Quokka, Skippy, Uluru and Waltzing Matilda;
- Qantas 787-9s will feature a premium-heavy 236-seat interior: 42 seats in business class (in a 1-2-1 configuration), 28 in premium economy (at 2-3-2 abreast) and 166 in economy (at nine abreast);
- Melbourne will become the hub for the first four Qantas 787s, with the first two aircraft to operate the Melbourne-Los Angeles route six times weekly from December with the third and fourth aircraft allowing the operation of Melbourne-Perth-London;
- The 787s are expected to be registered in the VH-ZN_ block, with the first aircraft expected to be VH-ZNA.
- Qantas confirmed its order for eight 787-9s in August 2015 after it returned to profitability in the 2014/15 financial year.