EVERETT — The Boeing Co. has passed a key milestone toward starting production of the 787-10, the biggest version of the Dreamliner family of commercial jetliners.
The company said on Wednesday that its engineers have finished what is called detailed design for the airplane nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.
Those small-scale designs are necessary to start making assembly equipment and components of the airplane.
Boeing has already released at least some of that information to suppliers, according to the company’s statement.
Major assembly of the 787-10 is slated to start in 2016, with first flight the following year and the first delivery scheduled for 2018.
The airplane will be assembled only at Boeing’s plant in North Charleston, South Carolina. The other Dreamliner versions — the 787-8 and 787-9 — are assembled there and in Everett.
The 787-10 is a stretched version of the 787-9, which was first delivered to a customer in 2014. The designs for the two 787 versions are 95 percent identical, according to Boeing.
To date, customers have placed orders for 164 787-10s, about 14 percent of all Dreamliner orders.