Saturday, January 21, 2012
About 1,100 employees and suppliers from Kansas got a tour of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner today.
"It's always exciting. Getting on a plane, seeing it, knowing you had a part of putting that product into the air," said Mark Hoffman, Spirit Aerosystems Wichita engineer.
The mid-size airplane was partially built in Kansas. The forward fuselage known as Section 41 and pylon are both built at Spirit’s Wichita facility.
"It's a fruition of a lot of time and effort. It brings kind of a closure, being able to see what they've put into the product," said Hoffman.
The 787 Dreamliner is made of 50 percent composite materials, which Boeing officials said is more fuel efficient.
Comfort was another priority for the new plane. One of its standard features include windows that go from clear to dark without plastic shades.
"Much more open, larger windows. Lighting, they're changing it as we speak now, gives a lot different environment," said Hoffman.
Suppliers from Kansas and 787 program employees have enjoyed seeing the inside of the plane.
"They build the airplane structure. They do the system installation, those types of things, so, the main cabin area is something they don't normally get to see. Today was a real treat for those people," said Terry George, vice president of the 787 program.
Those who have traveled on the "787 Dream Tour" said they have enjoyed seeing suppliers and workers in Kansas take pride in helping build the jet.
"There's a lot pride of workmanship. That's exciting to see, how interested people are in the airplane and how interested they are in how their work was used to build the airplane," said Heather Ross, 787 project pilot from Seattle.
The 787 Dream Tour continues on to Rockford, Illinois (Jan 23-25), Dublin, Ireland (Jan. 25-27), and Huntsville, Alabama (Jan. 27-30).