Our 777 team is about to become even busier than they already are. Cathay Pacific just ordered eight 777 Freighters and four 777-300ERs. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines agreed to order eight 777-300ERs (we look forward to finalizing the details of that agreement). We also picked up seven 777 orders that will go unidentified at this point. So far this year, we’ve received orders and commitments for more than 100 777s— a very impressive figure that speaks to the popularity of this market-leading airplane.
A view of the 777 factory in Everett. Photo by Gail Hanusa.
As the 777 program prepares for its next rate increase in 2013 to 8.3 airplanes per month, they’ve done something that made a lot of people say “WOW.” In this case, WOW also stands for “Weight on Wheels.” That’s when more than half a million pounds rests on the airplane’s landing gear as the airplane’s three main sections are attached. Recently, while working on the 945th 777, the team managed to attach those three main sections along with the landing gear in only 24 hours! Previously, it took more than 60 hours to finish that job.
Steven Kwok installs fasteners under a 777-300ER. Photo by Gail Hanusa.
Because the 777 is built on a moving production line and can’t move forward until the join is complete—this new method improves productivity while maintaining first time quality. Program leaders credit the team of final body join workers for the milestone that was four years in the making—with each step being closely analyzed.
Congratulations to the entire 777 team for an accomplishment that many never thought possible. To see how they did it, check out the time lapse video below.