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Originally published March 7, 2011 at 2:15 PM | Page modified March 8, 2011 at 6:21 AM

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Boeing beginning rework on 787s in Texas

Boeing on Friday flew the first of six 787 Dreamliners from Everett to San Antonio, Texas, where the planes will undergo extensive modifications...

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

Boeing on Friday flew the first of six 787 Dreamliners from Everett to San Antonio, Texas, where the planes will undergo extensive modifications.

The flight marks the beginning of a new long-planned phase in the program, as Boeing begins rework and refurbishment of 787s at the company's military airplane-modification and service center next to Lackland Air Force Base.

The first plane to arrive in Texas, Dreamliner No. 23 off the assembly line, still needs completed some detailed interior-assembly work left unfinished in Everett. Mechanics must also incorporate changes to the build specifications that have arisen during the certification process.

In any new airplane program, the certification process that parallels flight tests typically requires certain changes to the design.

Boeing said the initial batch of six Dreamliners begins with three that must incorporate such changes because they were built in advance of flight test. The other three will be flight-test airplanes that must be refurbished when the test program comes to an end. On these planes, flight-test equipment has to be removed and a passenger interior installed.

Boeing said more 787s may be sent to Texas for modification and refurbishment as needed.

The work will be performed through 2013. Boeing is hiring approximately 450 temporary employees in San Antonio to join with 1,700 experienced workers at the site to complete the work.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963

or dgates@seattletimes.com

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