Dreamlifter Delivers First Big Pieces of Dreamliner to Boeing Plant

The giant customized cargo plane swung open on its unique hinge. Inside the cavernous interior, a metal frame held the horizontal tail from Italy in five sections.

Five of those Darn Big Loaders are now in place, one at each of the major manufacturing sites in Grottaglie; Nagoya, Japan; and Charleston, S.C.; Wichita, Kan.; and Everett.

Boeing expects the other big chunks of the first airplane here within the next few weeks, and final assembly of the first 787 is due to be completed for a July 8 rollout.

The 787 manufacturing plan is that sections will arrive fully stuffed with all systems, including wiring. But Boeing said it won't achieve that ideal production state for a while.

For this first jet, as expected, the section arrived not entirely finished.

Boeing spokeswoman Hanson said there is plenty of "meaningful work" that mechanics here can do to the tail before the rest of the airplane shows up.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or

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