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Boeing delivers first 787 with flair | TECHNOLOGY News

September 26, 2011

Boeing workers hand-delivered – literally – the company’s first 787 Dreamliner in the pouring rain to All Nippon Airways, capping nearly a decade of development of the world’s most advanced jetliner.

The 500 Seattle workers, with help from a mechanical tug, hauled the carbon-composite plane about 100 yards to its Japanese buyers at a podium outside the planemaker’s mammoth Everett, Washington, production plant.

The hand-delivery was a vivid demonstration of the airplane’s lightweight structure, which promises 20% fuel savings for airlines, but also of the snail’s pace of production following numerous delays.

“The 787 represents a fundamental revolution, a transformational change in airplane design, manufacturing and performance benefits,” Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney told the assembled crowd of about 5,000 people huddled under umbrellas around the airplane.

“Embodied in this incredible machine are 95 years of Boeing aerospace know-how,” he said.

Boeing shares rose as much as 4.2% on Monday and were still up 2.7% at US$61.09 (NZ $78.3) in afternoon trading.

“I cannot wait to see the day when the skies of the world are filled with 787s,” said ANA President Shinichiro Ito.

Executives and workers repeatedly acknowledged the long, rocky road the Dreamliner has traveled.

The delivery ceremony was held at the planemaker’s Everett wide-body production facility, which is packed with undelivered aircraft in a sign of an inventory build-up pegged at more than US$16 billion (NZ$20.5 billion), sitting on the Boeing balance sheet.



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