March 10, 2010
It's one of the largest planes Wichitans will ever be seeing flying over the skies of South Central Kansas. It takes the Dreamlifter to take parts of the Dreamliner from Wichita to the Seattle area for final assembly.
It’s exciting, those connected to the program say, because they know what it represents to Wichita’s largest employer Spirit Aerosystems
"Just like today it makes me stop and think about how far we've come, how big a deal this really is," Harold Leslie, Sr. Mgr. 787 Systems said.
It’s a big deal because Boeing plans to deliver Dreamliners to customers later this year. So, Spirit will be ramping up production of the 787 parts made in Wichita for Boeing and the only way to get these big wide-body Dreamliner sections to Everett, Washington, is by putting them inside this greatly modified 747 Jetliner
"We've brought on several new people since the first of the year. We continue to bring on new employees. So it's good for the economy. It's good for Spirit. It's good for everybody," Leslie said.
Spirit’s head count has increased by about 100 since the first of the year, but it’ll likely increase more. That’s because Boeing wants Spirit to build ten of the Dreamliner forward section a month by 2012.
"That just means from this point going forward you do nothing but just go faster and faster and faster," Leslie said. "It is nothing but momentum now."