A worldwide effort to produce Boeing's Dreamliner

While parts come from all over the world to build the 787s, every single Dreamliner has its beginnings in Charleston. When assembly of the 787 Dreamliner began in Everett, Washington in 2006, Boeing was pioneering a dramatically different way of making an airplane.

Parts of the plane would be made around the world and brought to Everett where the airplane would be put together for the 787's final assembly.

"Our supplier partners like MHI, Mitsubishi industries in Japan, they build the wing assembly. So they build complete wings, put the systems in," said John Cornish.

From Japan to Italy, the list of suppliers looks like a United Nations roster.

"South Korea, China, Australia. It's just a conglomerate of suppliers from all over the world," said Marco Cavazzoni.

The airlines buying the 787s reach across the globe with 90 percent of them outside the U.S. Those countries wanted to be a part of building the innovative plane. But the far flung supply system has cost Boeing expensive delays due to travel time and parts shortages.

The first Dreamliner has yet to be delivered. It is three years behind schedule.

"If you look at our production system, we've had some learning moments. There's no question about that," said Cavazzoni.

Those learning moments are leading to what Boeing calls a "re-calibration" of their global concept.

"It would not be unthinkable or unusual to try and scale that back a little bit on the next program," Boeing SC Vice President and GM Jack Jones said.

But in this program, Charleston will be part of the round-the world concept as Boeing prepares to open it's second 787 assembly line in South Carolina.

"Starting in the middle of June for our first airplane in Charleston, the wing will ship directly from Japan on the Dreamlifter," said Cornish.

Boeing needs the second assembly line to boost production with more than 800 Dreamliners on order.

Copyright WCSC 2011. All rights reserved.