An drawing of the Boeing 787-10.

Boeing starts building first 787-10, a stretched Dreamliner

EVERETT — Major assembly for the newest — and biggest — version of the Boeing Dreamliner, the 787-10, has started two weeks ahead of schedule. Workers at Kawasaki Heavy Industries began putting together part of the new airplane’s fuselage Wednesday.

The 787-10, which Boeing workers and executives simply call the Dash 10, is a stretched version of the 787-9, first delivered to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. The Dash 10 is slated for first delivery in 2018.

Ninety-five percent of the two 787 versions’ design and production are identical, according to Boeing.

“We are taking all the right steps to ensure we integrate the 787-10 into the production system smoothly,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President Ken Sanger said in a news release. He oversees 787 airplane development.

That means making the Dash 10 should be cheaper and less risky than earlier 787 versions, according to the release.

The airplane’s detailed design was set in early December, also ahead of schedule.

All 787-10s will be assembled at Boeing’s plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, which builds the composite material fuselages for all Boeing Dreamliners. Both South Carolina and the plant at Paine Field in Everett assemble the smaller 787-8 and 787-9.

The aerospace giant says that the 787-10’s fuel use and emissions will be 25 percent less than older airplanes it is expected to replace, such as Boeing’s 777-200 and Airbus’ A330 and the handful of A340s still flying.

Boeing also contends that the Dash 10 will outperform newer Airbus airplanes by 10 percent. Executives at the European airplane maker make similar claims about the A350-900, which is about the same size as the 787-10 and flies even farther — 7,600 nautical miles versus 6,430 for the Dash 10.

What really matters, though, is what airline executives think of the airplanes. So far, the A350-900, which entered service in 2015, has outsold the Dash 10, garnering 580 orders compared to 162 for the Dash 10, according to the companies’ websites. However, most of those A350 orders came in 2007 and 2008, before Boeing had committed to the 787-10. Airbus has posted more cancellations than new orders for the past two years.

Both the A350 and 787 are contending for a major order50 to 70 airplanes — from Emirates Airlines. The Gulf carrier is close to a decision, the airline’s president, Tim Clark said last week.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

More in Herald Business Journal

Bond sale reveals Paine Field terminal cost is about $40M

Propeller Airports, which is building on land leased from the county, raised the money in February.

Explosive decompression at 32,500 feet. What happens?

Expect a violent windstorm where the pressurized air inside the passenger cabin rushes out.

Will activism in high school hurt your college chances?

By Anna Helhoski / NerdWallet Students risked disciplinary action at nearly 3,000… Continue reading

How new tax rules on home-equity loans affect you

To deduct interest, the money must be used for the property that the loan is secured against.

Giant power storage ‘batteries’ show promise

The systems could reduce the impact of power outages, whether they’re caused by storms or hackers.

This is one trend that’s come back around

On Record Store Day, old-fashioned vinyl is more popular than ever.

County planners seek denial of Woodway-area luxury condos

Concerns remain over design and traffic plans for the 3,081-unit development at Point Wells.

FAA orders more engine inspections after Southwest accident

The agency is requiring inspections of hundreds of jet engines like the one that blew apart this week.

Audit clears Facebook despite Cambridge Analytica leaks

The heavily redacted audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers is available on the FTC’s website.

Most Read