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BOEING BEGINS MAJOR ASSEMBLY OF 777

 SEATTLE, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in more than 12 years and only the seventh time in the 37 years of the jet age, Boeing has officially started assembly of an all-new jetliner: the 777.
 Boeing Commercial Airplane Group employees marked the historic occasion by beginning work on the first 777 airplane wing spar at the 777 Division near Everett, Wash. During the first days of production, operators on the Automated Spar Assembly Tool installed about 5,100 fasteners on the 105-foot-long (32 m) structure that will become the front spar in the left wing of the first 777. The activity signified the official start of major assembly on the new twinjet. "This marks the start of one of an airplane's major stages, the wing assembly," said Dale Hougardy, vice president - Operations for the 777 Division. "Meeting this program milestone is a significant step in helping us deliver a quality airplane on schedule to our airline customers."
 Boeing employees ultimately will use the automated assembly tool to build four spars at a time. The spars, principal structural members of an airplane wing, act as major supports to strengthen the whole wing structure, much like the frame of an automobile. Each wing has two tapered aluminum spars.
 The Boeing 777 is wide-body airliner midway in size between the 747 and 767. Passenger seating can be 305 to 440 depending on airline configuration. Final assembly of the first airplane will begin in late 1993, with rollout in March 1994.
 First launch customer delivery to United Airlines will take place in May 1995.
 Latest orders for the new type were placed last month when International Lease Finance Corp. of Los Angeles signed for six firm and two options, and China Southern, based in Guangzhou (Canton), People's Republic of China, ordered six. Nine additional airlines from the United States, Japan, France, Thailand, England, Austria, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates have ordered the 777 to date. Currently Boeing holds 118 firm orders and 95 options for this newest twinjet.
 -0- 1/21/93
 /CONTACT: Maureen Herward of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group,


206-294-6102/
 (BA)


CO: Boeing Commercial Airplane Group ST: Washington IN: AIR SU:

JH -- SE005 -- 7357 01/21/93 11:23 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 21, 1993
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