A Quick-Build Airliner?

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Well, we have to wonder if there's a 51-percent quick-build version of the new Boeing 7E7 on the drawing board. The Boeing exec leading development of the super-efficient jetliner told a meeting of Washington State's Snohomish County Economic Development Council last Wednesday that the company expects final assembly of each jet to take as little as three days. "We're trying to get as much of the work done before final assembly where we bring the airplane together in relatively complete pieces and put it together in a relatively short time," Mike Bair told the assembled business leaders and other dignitaries attending the luncheon. Bair also let loose a few more details about the 7E7, saying it will have a range of about 8,200 miles, similar to the extended-range version of the larger 777, which is already in service. He said more composite will be used than in other Boeing jets and although it will be faster than the 777, it will be slower than a 747. Bair did not, however, tell the economic movers and shakers of Snohomish County what they really wanted to hear -- Boeing still hasn't decided where the 7E7 will be built. The aerospace giant is currently shopping the country looking for the best deal from communities that are expected to line up to bid for the new plant.