US airframer Boeing which announced the largest member of its new 787 Dreamliner family, the 787-10, has decided to exclusively assemble the new aircraft in its North Charleston, South Carolina facility.
The 787-10 is positioned as a higher capacity jet which has the same maximum take-off weight as its shorter variant the 787-9, but which will trade range for increased passenger capacity. The 787-10 has a range up to 7,000 nm (12,964 km), with seating for 300~330 passengers compared to the 787-9s range of 8,500 nautical miles (15,750 km) and capacity of 250~290 passengers.
The 787-10 would be used on high demand routes of up to 10 hours making it ideal for trans-Atlantic flights and long regional flights. India to Europe, Middle-East to Europe, Far East, and South-East Asia to Australasia, Northern Asia, etc.
Boeing will continue to assemble both the shorter variants of the Dreamliner family the 787-8s and 787-9s in Everett, Washington, and North Charleston plants. Boeing expect to commence final assembly of its first 787-10 in 2017.
The longer mid-body section of the 787-10 is too big to be transported from North Charleston where all Dreamliner systems integration work is performed. With the Dreamliner program running about three years behind schedule, there is tremendous pressure on Boeing to improve productivity on its existing 787 production lines to catch-up with the back-log. Boeing produces ten Dreamliners per month, seven in Everett and three in North Charleston. Boeing plans to increase the production at North Charleston to five in 2016 and seven by 2020.