Boeing’s 747 Dreamlifter may get to haul 767 sections, too

A 20% boost in 767 freighter and KC-46 tanker production may come with some creative maneuvering to speed up and make room in the factory.

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Boeing announced Wednesday as part of its quarterly earnings that it was increasing output from 2.5 to 3 767s each month. Boeing and supplier Spirit AeroSystems are in advanced evaluations to potentially ship structurally assembled 767 forward sections to Everett, Wash. for final assembly using the over-sized cargo hold of its ‘Dreamlifter’ 747 large cargo freighter, according to two people familiar with the planning.

The goal is to shift the forward fuselage work into the supply chain to free up space in the factory to accommodate the higher output and the quicker tempo of production. The 767 forward fuselage section, also known as Section 41 (pictured above in green), are currently shipped in pieces by rail from Wichita, Kan. to Boeing in Washington state where they are built up into a complete barrel.

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