fuselage assembly started by boeing for first 777-9
Fuselage Assembly Started by Boeing for First 777-9
After uploading a picture this past March on Twitter, Boeing revealed the first Section 41 (Boeing’s internal designation for both the nose and forward fuselage) had entered their Everett factory’s 40-27 bay. The first 777-9 version of the 777X family line that enters fuselage assembly will be utilized to static ground testing. Inside the 40-27 bay, Section 41 will connect to both the center and aft fuselage sections. A new process will be used, which was first introduced almost 2 years ago on the 777-300ER and 777-200LR programs. Choosing not to load the assemblies into a rotating tool fixture, Boeing instead has chosen to pair the 777X by utilizing the fuselage automated upgrade build process, or FAUB. During this process, sections are placed into moveable cradles and paired together by robots for drilling and fastening.
Sometime later this year, the constructed fuselage will move over to the last assembly bay for the 777X. Here it will be joined with the new composite wings for the aircraft. The first 777-9 wingspar was introduced last year to be used for static test airplane’s. Now, the wings to be used on the first flight test aircraft are going through the assembly process in the new composite wing center that opened last year in Everett. The center was created to support the 777X program.
During the last stage of assembly, Boeing combines the fuselage with the wings, the GE Aviation GE9x engines, along with the onboard systems. GE recently launched a flight test for the GE9x this past March on a Boeing-owned 747-400 flying testbed. The 777-9 program has plans to enter flight testing next year. The program will also enter service with Emirates in 2020. The 777-8, which has a longer range, will enter service in 2022.
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