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BOEING WICHITA ASSEMBLES 777 LOWER LOBE

 WICHITA, Kan., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- History was in the making last week at Boeing Commercial Airplane Group's Wichita Division, where workers began joining the four major assemblies that make up the lower lobe, or belly, of the first 777 airplane's nose section, the company said today.
 Measuring 10 feet high by 40 feet long and 20 feet in diameter, the lower lobe is about one-half of the circumference of the airplane's body.
 With more than 6,418 parts and assemblies, the lower lobe is the largest ever built and assembled at Boeing Wichita. The lower lobe, which is made up of two assemblies, also includes the passenger floor and cargo door frame panel.
 "The individual assemblies fit together extremely well, especially the passenger floor," said Charlie Houser, 777 product line manager. "That assembly includes composite floor beams, and it went together smoother than any floor grid of any size that we've ever built in Wichita."
 The composite floor beams are the first ever to be used on a Boeing commercial jetliner. Stronger and lighter than conventional materials, composites also are corrosion and fatigue resistant.
 "Part of the reason the assembly process has gone so well is because we used CATIA (computer-graphics aided three-dimensional interactive application) and digital preassembly as our design and assembly tools, which let us find areas of potential interference before we started production. We're also pleased with the appearance and contour of the forward lower lobe," Houser said.
 Major assembly tools for the lower lobe stand 14 feet high by 25 feet wide and 48 feet long, which covers an area roughly equivalent to a basketball half-court.
 Assembly work on the airplane's cab, crown and side panels, which will complete the nose section, also began this month. The cab, lower lobe and crown and side panels will be shipped separately by rail to Everett, Wash., later this summer where final assembly of the 777 will take place.
 The first 777 is scheduled for delivery to United Airlines in May 1995. Boeing Commercial Airplane Group currently holds 118 announced orders and 95 options for its newest wide-body twinjet.
 In addition to the nose section, Boeing Wichita is responsible for the airplane's engine struts and nacelles and seat tracks.
 -0- 3/17/93 R
 /CONTACT: Fred Solis of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Wichita Division, 316-526-3153/
 (BA)


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

SW -- SE010R -- 7386 03/18/93 10:25 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 18, 1993
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