Have you ever wondered how planes are built? How much time and effort goes into building a single aircraft?
Planes are complex machines that require extensive engineering and design. They are also very expensive to produce. The average cost of manufacturing a commercial jet is around $100 million.
Planes are designed using CAD software. This allows engineers to create 3D models of the aircraft and then test them out in virtual reality before they go ahead and build the real thing.
Once the model has been approved, the next step is to start construction. At this point, there may be some changes made to the design.
Every plane is different because no two people see things the same way. In this article, we look a little closer at the process of building a plane and judge just how long it takes to build one successfully. Let’s jump in.
The Process – In A Nutshell
The first part of building an airplane is designing it for flight. If something isn’t right, it could mean big problems later on.
Engineers design every aspect of the plane, including where the windows will be placed, what kind of engines will be used, and even how many seats there will be.
The second stage is creating the actual structure of the plane. There are three main parts: the wings, fuselage, and tail section.
All three parts have to be attached correctly since they all work together. In cross-section, the fuselage looks like a long tube with the cockpit at one end and the tail at the other.
Once the fuselage is complete, the interior can begin to take shape. Everything from the seat belts to the toilets must be included in the final design.
The last major component to be added is the engine.
These massive pieces of machinery need to fit perfectly inside the body of the plane so that they don’t interfere with each other or cause any damage during take-off and landing.
While the plane is being assembled, safety precautions come into play. For example, the pilots and other workers wear special suits that help protect them if anything should happen.
Other components such as the brakes and fuel system are tested thoroughly so that nothing dangerous gets overlooked.
It takes years of planning and hard work to bring a new plane to life. But once it’s finished, it’s ready to fly!
How Long Does The Building Process Take?
Commercial jets take about eight months to assemble. Narrow-body planes take longer to build than wide-body ones, but a typical assembly line can produce tens of thousands of airplanes per year.
Most of the workers are dedicated to assembling the plane, and they usually have an aspect they will need to focus on as individual workers, to help assemble the plane as a team.
The time it takes also refers to if we are just talking about the assembly or the entire manufacturing process.
What happens in the factory is just the assembly in most cases, but then this needs to be manufactured and prepared to fly.
The size of the plane also matters and assembly time is based on the order timeline.
The Boeing 737 for example, needs to be assembled and shipped as quickly as possible due to popularity, however, planes that are in less demand such as the Boeing 747-8i do not move as fast.
The plane also needs to be painted which, even if things move quickly, can take up to a week. The plane then needs to be tested and checked that all safety measures have been followed.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner and most other popular planes similar can take as little as about a week to assemble and paint, and even the Boeing 737Max only takes around nine days.
However, the Boeing 787 series on average took around 25-40 days to assemble before Covid-19.
The Airbus A320 Series differs, but the Airbus was producing over 60 planes per month before coronavirus.
The Airbus A220 Series in particular, however, seems to only produce planes at a rate of around 4 per month, which means they can also be built in about 7-8 days.
The numbers cited here are not exact and are gathered from a variety of sources. But they should be roughly representative.
Wide-body aircraft generally take more time to assemble than narrow-body planes, and regional jets take less time to assemble than wide-body aircraft.
Overall, the time it takes for a plane to be assembled can vary depending on a range of different factors from size, make, assembly worker count, and the assembly process. So it’s impossible to give a final answer!
Boeing 737 V Boeing 777
The Boeing 737 design allowed the plane to be lighter and more fuel-efficient.
The plane is now the world’s fastest commercial airliner, making it easy for a high number of passengers to travel long distances at one time.
The difference in assembly time compared to the 777 is due to the number of parts needed to assemble the plane.
However, the Boeing 737 requires fewer parts than the 777. There was a backlog of 4,000 Boeing 737s in 2018 compared to less than 400 for the 777-300ER and 777X.
This means Boeing could assemble more 737s much quicker due to it being smaller and needing a greater throughput due to the number of orders.
This meant the Boeing 737 took around 9 days for assembly, while the 777 stands at 17 days.
We hope after reading this article you have learned all you need to know about the plane assembly process and how long it takes to manufacture and assemble a plane from scratch.
The time it takes depends on several factors, and it’s important to consider this when trying to reach a final answer.
It requires years of planning, hiring assembly workers, and testing before taking to the sky with passengers so although the assembly time for some planes might seem quick, there’s more to this than you might first think.