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06 July 2007

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Isn't that the way Airbus always built their jets, i.e. fuselage in Germany, wings in England, etc., then flown in a Super Guppy or Beluga to France for final assembly? The fact that "this system has thus far worked" shouldn't come as any big surprise.

Hello EG!

My understanding is that the answer is yes and no. Airbus does indeed assemble major fuselage components at various locations around Europe, with all the major pieces coming together in Toulouse.

The difference in the case of the 787 is that the subcontractors assemble their major subassemblies in more or less complete form.

So, for example, the complete nose landing gear is installed in the front fuselage section by Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kansas, and then the entire section is flown to Everett for final assembly.

As a result, the final assembly process is much faster for the 787 than it is under the Airbus system.

OK--thanks for the clarification. Great blog, by the way. I always look forward to another entry, especially on aviation.

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