While reading about Norwegian’s forthcoming 787 service between Oslo and TROBO’s home in Orlando, we stumbled on this really cool timelapse video of the assembly of Boeing’s 787.
The 787 is the first aircraft to be made of at least 50% composite materials. Composite materials like carbon fiber allow Boeing to manufacture a plane which is substantially lighter in weight than a standard aluminum plane – thereby allowing them to save fuel (one of an airline’s largest variable costs). While composite materials have been used on planes before (the 777 consists of 12% composite materials), the 787 represents a big change for aircraft manufacturing. The result is a different manufacturing process which can be seen in the video below.
In the video, you can see the manufacturing of the fuselage with the carbon fiber strands which must then be baked to make them rigid. The plane is assembled in pieces which are then flown to an assembly plant and then combined into the finished aircraft. It takes approximately 3 days to manufacture a 787 and they are building around 10 new planes per month.